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.

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 woman 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.

UT Austin

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Daina Ramey Berry, associate professor of history and African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of The Price for Their Pound of Flesh.

Berry talks about the domestic cadaver trade; how enslaved people responded to being appraised, bartered and sold; and the economic value of enslaved people.

Texas A&M University

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Valerie Hill-Jackson, clinical professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture at Texas A&M University and author of a new study that examines the decreasing number of African-American teachers in the nation’s public school system.

events.stanford.edu

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a tribute to the late Ruth Brown, R&B singer-songwriter and actress.

Brown talks about running away from home, recording for Atlantic Records and suing for royalties.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a tribute to the late Alexander Murray Palmer Haley. Haley’s quest to learn more about his family history resulted in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Roots: The Saga of an American Family.

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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a tribute to the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Featured on the program are former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former President Barack Obama, and D’ Army Bailey.

Rance Elgin

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter's House and author of Soar!: Build Your Vision From The Ground Up.

Bishop Jakes talks about your life purpose, entrepreneurial drive and personal/professional satisfaction.

Cornell Marketing

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Noliwe Rooks, director of American studies and associate professor of Africana studies at Cornell University and author of Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation and The End of Public Education.

Rooks talks about the making and unmaking of public education, the corporate takeover of education and school choice.

Cornell Marketing

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Noliwe Rooks, director of American Studies and associate professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University, and author of Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation and The End of Public Education.

Rooks talks about the making and unmaking of public education, corporate takeover of education, and school choice. 

Taylor Johnson

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Michael Hurd, director for the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture at Prairie View A&M University and author of Thursday Night Lights: The Story of Black High School Football in Texas.

Hurd talks Prairie View Interscholastic League, black high school football in Texas, and the players who made their way into the National Football League and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

CSPAN screengrab

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a tribute to screen and stage legends Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Davis died on Feb. 4, 2005. He was 87; Dee died on June 11, 2014 at 91.

Davis and Dee talk about their careers, the civil rights movement, race-conscious issues and family life.

ELVERT BARNES PROTEST PHOTOGRAPHY / FLICKR

In honor of comedian and human rights activist Dick Gregory, In Black America concludes an encore presentation of an interview and keynote address marking the 50th anniversary of the Sweatt v. Painter decision, which successfully challenged the "separate but equal" system of segregation.

The program originally aired in May 2000.

Gregory died on Aug. 19, 2017. He was 84.

Elvert Barnes Protest Photography / Flickr

In honor of comedian and human rights activist Dick Gregory, In Black America presents an encore presentation of an interview and keynote address marking the 50th anniversary of the Sweatt v. Painter decision, which successfully challenged the "separate but equal" system of segregation.

The program originally aired in May 2000.

Gregory died on Aug. 19, 2017. He was 84.

Classique Photo

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with singer/songwriter Will Downing.

Downing talks about his longevity in the music business, the serious health issues he experiences and his new CD "Soul Survivor."

Get Red PR

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks to the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins, district judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and author of Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Judge Wilkins talks about the anniversary of the opening of the national museum in Washington, D.C., racial politics concerning African-Americans, and the taking down of monuments.

Lavish Records, LLC.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with entertainment attorney Dr. Tracy Randall, Ph.D.  The Grammy-nominated songwriter and gospel recording artist is a cancer survivor.

Randall talks about his struggle with bipolar disorder, battling cancer and his spiritual growth.

MSNBC

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Yvette M. Miley, senior vice president for MSNBC & NBC News, and the 2017 recipient of the Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Miley talks about the importance of people of color in decision-making positions in the newsroom, her journey from a volunteer position at the Florida Photo News to NBC and the symbolic importance of the Chuck Stone Award.

Black AIDS Institute

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Phill Wilson, president and chief executive officer of the Black AIDS Institute, decades after the virus was first discovered.  

USA Today Sports

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Jarrett Bell, NFL columnist with USA Today Sports and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, about becoming a sports reporter, the National Football League and Colin Kaepernick

USA Today Sports

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Jarrett Bell, NFL columnist with USA Today and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, about becoming a sports reporter, the National Football League and the controversy surrounding former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick

Elva Diane Green

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Elva Diane Green, daughter of Eddie Green and author of Eddie Green: The Rise of an Early 1900’s Black American Entertainment Pioneer.

Elva Diane Green

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Elva Diane Green, daughter of Eddie Green and author of Eddie Green: The Rise of an Early 1900’s Black American Entertainment Pioneer.

Wikimedia Commons

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with radio and television veteran Donnie Simpson about growing up in Detroit, becoming a DJ at the age of 15 and being a part of cable television history at the launch of BET.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

On this special 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 and the upcoming 19th season of his reality-based court show.

Robert L. Wilkins is nominated by President Obama to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
White House

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Robert L. Wilkins, a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and author of Long Road to Hard Truth.

Courtesy of Porter Boy Entertainment

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Motown Gospel recording artist Paul Porter about growing up in Detroit, the "accidental" discovery of his talent and putting God first.  

National Press Club

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks to Jeff Ballou. Ballou is the National Press Club president and the news editor for Al-Jazeera's English-language channel. 

He spoke about his experience as journalist of color and the importance of attracting and retaining diverse voices in media. 

U.S. House of Representatives

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a tribute to the late George T. "Mickey" Leland, a former congressman from the 18th Congressional District of Houston.

Courtesy of WYRevolution Consulting

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Charles S. Corprew, III, Ph.D., founder and president of WYRevolution Consulting. Corprew, who has studied the issue of hypermasculinity, tells Hanson that African-American men have a responsibility to give back to younger men and that mentoring is key to more successful outcomes.  

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