John L. Hanson Jr.

Host, Producer, In Black America

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m., as well as weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.

Hanson’s love of radio started in his hometown, Detroit, as a teenager. He began as a music programmer and youth reporter for the student station in his school. Upon his high school graduation, he traveled to Austin, Texas, to attend Huston-Tillotson College, and landed a DJ slot at a small, low wattage station in nearby Lockhart where he offered a popular nightly program of jazz and soul music. Eventually he was hired by KUT radio in 1974 where his first assignment was to produce a nightly program called “Soul on FM” which became an immediate success and ultimately earned him recognition as “Best DJ in Texas” by Texas Monthly magazine in 1976.

In 1977, Hanson received a Minority Training Grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which he used to learn the ropes for setting up a public affairs program for KUT. Upon his return from the CPB workshops, Hanson turned his attention to improving and increasing information about the black community, which was not effectively reaching the local media outlets. He soon created Access, a weekly, live, phone-in program on KUT, which allowed experts in various fields and endeavors to address the public about their intended impact on the Austin community. From there, Hanson was promoted to the producer of In Black America after its previous host left the city in 1980.

Since that time, Hanson has served many roles at KUT, including being the station’s interim GM on two occasions. He retired from KUT in 2011 but has continued to work on IBA and host the Old School Dance Party on sister station KUTX 98.9 Friday afternoons from 4-7 p.m. Hanson is married to the former Latischa M. Merritt; he has two children, Kacey and Michael.

Zeta Phi Beta

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker, the new international president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and director of the Inforce Systems Division at New York Life Insurance Co. in New York.

Hollingsworth-Baker talks about becoming a Zeta, the sorority's concerns about the human condition, its national and local programs, and being a child prodigy.

New Town Pharmacy

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Albert D. Chester, owner of New Town Pharmacy and founder and director of Capstone Institute, both located in Jacksonville, Fla.

Chester talks about training future heath care workers, opening a pharmacy in the neighborhood his grandfather grew up in, and being the primary resource for all health care needs.

University of Texas Press

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with the Honorable Dr. Harriet M. Murphy, retired municipal court judge and civil rights activist, former college department head and author of There All The Honor Lies: A Memoir.

University of Texas Press

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Dr. Harriet M. Murphy, retired municipal court judge and civil rights activist, former college department head and author of There All The Honor Lies: A Memoir.

Murphy talks about growing up in Atlanta, attending Spelman College and the UT School of Law and her career as a jurist.

American Medical Association

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Patrice A. Harris, MD, a psychiatrist and president-elect of the American Medical Association. She'll serve for a year as president-elect and become the first African-American woman to lead the organization in 2019.

Harris talks about becoming a physician, her vision for the organization, mental health in the African-American community, and being the first African-American woman to lead the AMA.

CREDIT TEXASRANGERREGISTER.ORG

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Christine Nix, assistant professor and program coordinator of Criminal Justice at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and the first African-American female Texas Ranger.

Nix talks about being the first African-American woman hired by the Rangers, spending time in the Army Reserves and her 25 years in law enforcement.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Brian J. Miles, board-certified urologist with Houston Methodist Hospital and Victor Murray, a prostate cancer patient. 

Each year more than 200,000 men are  diagnosed with prostate cancer, with most cases affecting African-American men 65 and older. 

Dr. Miles and Murray talk about prostate cancer and how less invasive procedure to treat it is cutting down on recovery times.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with gospel recording artist Veronica Brown, who travels the world uplifting and encouraging audiences of all nationalities and faiths.

Brown talks about growing up in Detroit, representing the USO overseas, moving from secular music to gospel and singing with Aretha Franklin.

University of Texas

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Leonard N. Moore, vice president for diversity and community engagement and professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.

Moore talks about growing up in Cleveland, his new position as director of the DDCE, the study aboard program, and his love of teaching.

ESPN

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks Howard Bryant, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine,  sports correspondent for NPR's Weekend Edition, and author of The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.

Mindy Tucker

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams, stand-up comedian, actress and author of Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat.

Williams talks about her journey growing up in an illegal liquor house, being shot twice, selling drugs and turning her life around.

 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Mary Frances Berry, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, former chairwoman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and author of History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times.  

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Benjamin Crump, civil rights attorney. Crump gained national prominence by representing clients in some of the most important and contentious high-profile cases for African-Americans.

Crump talks about being an attorney, why he believes in fighting to preserve the advances in justice and equality that people of color achieved during the civil rights movement, and representing the families of African-Americans shot and killed by police.

NASA

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Mary Frances Berry, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, former chairwoman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and author of History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times.  

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Benjamin W. Nero, author of That’s The Way It Was: A Memoir. Dr. Nero was the first African-American to graduate from the University of Kentucky’s College of Dentistry, and the first African-American intern resident at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Benjamin Nero, author of That’s The Way It Was: A Memoir. Dr. Nero was the first African-American to graduate from the University of Kentucky’s College of Dentistry and the first African-American intern resident at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

zimbio.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Mike Haynes, a Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback and prostate cancer survivor. Haynes is a spokesperson for the Know Your Stats campaign.

Hayes talks about the day he discovered he had prostate cancer, the need for a prostate screening and the Urology Care Foundation.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Greg Mathis, former Superior Court judge for Michigan's 36th District and host of Judge Mathis.

Mathis talks about manhood, his election as the youngest judge in Michigan's history and the 19th season of his court-based reality show.

Darlene Devita / Beacon Press

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Joseph Rosenbloom, author of Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr’s Last 31 Hours.

Rosenbloom was an intern at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis when King died in 1968. He talks with In Black America about the Lorraine Hotel, King's "From The Mountain" speech, the Poor People’s Campaign, and the historical momentum that was lost on April 4, 1968.

Darlene DeVita / Beacon Press

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Joseph Rosenbloom, author of Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr’s Last 31 Hours.

Rosenbloom was an intern at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis when King died in 1968. He talks with In Black America about the last two days of King's life, why his aides didn’t want him to go to Memphis, why James Earl Ray was in the city, and how a lapse in police security may have contributed to King's death. 

history.library.ucsf.edu

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Haile T. Debas, director emeritus at the University of California Global Health Institute; the Maurice Galante Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus; dean emeritus at the University of California, School of Medicine; and former UCSF chancellor.

Dr. Debas talks about being a physician, researcher, teacher and academic leader. He also discusses reinventing himself after retirement and the formation of UCSF Global Health Sciences.

BALLETINTHECITY

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Loren Walton, a young African-American ballet dancer living in Austin.

Walton talks about being a dancer, his experience with the PNB School and obstacles he's had to overcome. 

Dr. Brittney Cooper

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Brittney Cooper, assistant professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower.

Copper talks about race and gender in popular culture, politics on campus, and why feminism needed Beyonce.

Courtesy of Brittney Cooper

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Brittney Cooper, assistant professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower.

Copper talks about how she embraced her anger, the future of black feminism and the politics of self-help.

growlermag.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Chris Montana, owner and head distiller Du Nord Craft Spirits, located in Minneapolis, Minn. 

Montana talks about waking up one morning and deciding he wanted to make booze, being the only African-American craft distiller, and mixing his wife's rural upbringing with his urban experience to create a family business.

Courtesy of RISE

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of Rise and NFL 3rd annual Super Bowl Town Hall featuring NFL players and executives. 

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.

proplayerinsider.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 31st Super Bowl Breakfast, in which Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson received The Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award. Bart Starr Jr. and former NFL head coach Tony Dungy were also guests at the event.

In his acceptance speech, Watson talked about his family, his faith and his community.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Strauss Moore Shiple, project director with the South Carolina’s Olde English District, and Louis Venters, professor of African-America and American history at Francis Marion University.

Colin M. Lenton

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Amy Hill Hearth, journalist and author of Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York.

Hearth talks about Elizabeth Jennings’ refusal to leave a segregated streetcar in Manhattan, how the African-American community of New York came together to fight segregation in public transportation, and how a future president represented Jennings in court.

Domingo Farias

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Elijah Watson, news editor for the New York-based black culture website Okayplayer. The word "woke," is an African-American colloquialism that is now defined as "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues."

Watson talks about William Melvin Kelley, the man who coined the word "woke," how the word came about and why he took on this project.

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