The Speeches of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner
The Press, the Platform, and the Pulpit
An essential reader of the powerful orations of an African American religious leader
Henry McNeal Turner (1834–1915) was a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of America’s earliest Black activists and social reformers, and an outspoken proponent of emigration. In The Speeches of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner: The Press, the Platform, and the Pulpit, Andre E. Johnson has compiled selected political speeches, sermons, lectures, and religious addresses delivered by Turner in their original form.
Alongside Turner’s oratory, Johnson places the speeches in their historical context and traces his influence on Black social movements in the twentieth century, from W. E. B. Du Bois’s idea of cultural nationalism to Marcus Garvey’s "Back to Africa" movement, the modern-day civil rights movement, the Black Power movement, James Cone’s Black liberation theology, and more. While Turner was widely known as a great orator and published copious articles, essays, and editorials, no single collection of only Turner’s speeches has yet been published, and scholars have largely ignored his legacy. This volume recovers a lost voice within American and African American rhetorical history, expanding the canon of the African American oratorical tradition.
"In The Speeches of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner: The Press, the Platform, and the Pulpit, Andre E. Johnson recovers the voice of a politician, citizen, minister, and orator in American history whose contribution as a thought leader in the post–Civil War and Reconstruction period has been overlooked and eclipsed. Turner’s voice is exceptionally relevant to our current racial landscape."- Cynthia P. King, professor of communication studies at Furman University