University of Memphis Communication grad student and activist Earle J. Fisher gave a lecture on April 10, 2018, titled, “King, Cone, and Cleage: Critiques of the Shortcomings of #MLK’s Nonviolent Theology by His Contemporaries” at Memphis Theological Seminary in room F-201. He was the guest of R3 founder and managing editor, Dr. Andre E. Johnson’s class on Martin Luther King Jr. Rev. Earle J. Fisher is a native of Benton Harbor, Michigan. This preacher, professor, writer, and social activist graduated… Read more

Unrolled thread from @aejohnsonphd #MLK50 #BlackLivesMatter #WhiteChurchQuiet #EmptyThePews Donate to the Work of R3 Like the work we do at Rhetoric Race and Religion? Please consider helping us continue to do this work. All donations are tax-deductible through Gifts of Life Ministries/G’Life Outreach, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, and our fiscal sponsor. Any donation helps. Just click here to support our work. Read more

On Friday, March 9, 2018, the New York Times published a story addressed what the author called, “a quiet exodus” of Black people leaving white evangelical churches. Below is my twitter thread about this story. Unrolled thread from @aejohnsonphd #WhiteEvangelical #WhiteEvangelicalism #EmptyThePews #GetOut Donate to the Work of R3 Like the work we do at Rhetoric Race and Religion? Please consider helping us continue to do this work. All donations are tax-deductible through Gifts of Life Ministries/G’Life Outreach, a 501(c)(3)… Read more

One of the last campaigns that Martin Luther King worked on was the Poor People’s Campaign. In announcing the campaign, King said that his SCLC would lead “waves of the nation’s poor and disinherited to Washington, D. C., next spring to demand redress of their grievances by theUnited States government and to secure at least jobs or income for all.” Further, he said: We will go there, we will demand to be heard, and we will stay until America responds…. Read more

Below is a special issue on “White Supremacy in the Age of Trump” in the Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric (JCR). From the Journal: The Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric (JCR) is a peer-reviewed publication that publishes original scholarship that that promotes critical engagement with rhetorical dimensions of current events (those of the past 18 months or so). In promoting the practice of public intellectualism, JCR offers an outlet for scholarship that is both intellectually rigorous and accessible to lay audiences. To this end, JCR specifically seeks to publish… Read more

Not long ago, most white American Christians believed that Jesus blessed slavery. God wasn’t bothered by Jim Crow. Baby Jesus had white skin. Meet Plantation Jesus: a god who is comfortable with bigotry, and an idol that distorts the message of the real Savior. That false image of God is dead, right? Wrong, argue the authors of Plantation Jesus, an authoritative new book on one of the most urgent issues of our day. Through their shared passion for Jesus Christ and… Read more

On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, Dr. Frank A. Thomas delivered a lecture titled, “Race, Shrinking Whiteness and Four Qualities of the Moral Imagination.” His basic argument in the lecture was that we need increased moral imagination to discuss and effectively deal with the perennial issue of race and whiteness, including the phenomena of “shrinking whiteness” in America. Based upon the method of close reading, Thomas examined the moral imagination of Robert F. Kennedy, evidenced in his famous speech on April 4, 1968,… Read more

On Friday, February 16, 2018, I gave a talk titled “If We Can’t Get It, Shut It Down:” MLK, BLM and the Rhetoric of Confrontation.”  Hosted by the History Department at the University of Memphis, I argued that King, near the end of his life, no longer believed that government officials would “do the right thing,” King called for a campaign of massive civil disobedience that would lead to economic boycotts and shut down entire cities. By doing this, King asked… Read more

by Tom Fuerst   The church-at-large has been far too silent for far too long on the subject of sexual abuse. It’s what happens when church leadership, even in theoretically egalitarian denominations, is dominated by men. This is why I’m grateful for voices like those of Beth Moore, who in this article, seeks to explore one possible reason for our silence on this subject. I applaud Moore for speaking on this because I know it is quite personal to her and,… Read more

In the December 1918 issue of The Crisis magazine, W.E.B. Du Bois celebrated the end of the First World War with a loud and enthusiastic call for the right of all Americans to vote. Du Bois wrote, “Now that the war is over, we have but one word and one thought—the Ballot. We want that ballot safeguarded by every reasonable and decent limitation, impartially applied; but it can no longer be limited by race and sex (p. 62). Du Bois… Read more

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