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.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Shelia Brooks, founder and CEO of SRB Communications, an award-winning advertising and marketing agency based in Washington D.C. She is also the author of Lucile H. Bluford and The Kansas City Call: Activist Voice For Social Justice.

Brooks talks about becoming a journalist, her passion for the National Association of Black Journalists and women-owned businesses, writing a book about Lucile H. Bluford, and becoming an entrepreneur. 

Patrick Caven Brown

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Derrick R. Brooms, associate professor of sociology and Africana studies at the University of Cincinnati, and author of Being Black, Being Male on Campus: Understanding and Confronting Black Male Collegiate Experiences. 

His recent study concludes that black male initiative programs enhance their sense of belonging and success in college.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Nathan Araya, a documentary filmmaker and founder of All Creative Digital. His current project is a series called "Growing Up In America." The first episode is "Mental Health Is Wealth."

Araya talks about becoming a filmmaker, why he chose mental health as a topic, his Ethiopian heritage, and why meaningful conversations build community and contribute value.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, and author of LOOKING FOR LORRAINE: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry.

Perry talks about the death of Hansberry’s father, being under the watchful eye of the FBI, challenging President Kennedy and his brother, and her association with the many activists, writers and musicians of the time.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers professor of African-American studies at Princeton University and author of  LOOKING FOR LORRAINE: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry.

Perry talks about why she decided to write about Hansberry, what they both had in common, why A Raisin in the Sun has stood the test of time, and why Hansberry was more then a singular figure.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with retired television journalist Bernard Shaw.

Shaw covered many monumental 20th century events, from the Jonestown tragedy to Tienanmen Square. He helped launch news network CNN as its chief anchor.

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

In celebration of Black History Month, In Black America presents an encore presentation of "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music," an extended interview with her that originally aired in March 1983.

 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. pays tribute to the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. King would have turned 90 yesterday.

Featured on the program are the voices of Coretta Scott King, former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former President Barack Obama, and civil rights activist D'Army Bailey.

 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Michael Gibson, co-founder and chairman of Clear View Group, LLC, an African-American investment firm based in Austin. In 2016, CVG bought JETMag.com and EBONY, the iconic African-American lifestyle magazine.

Gibson talks about the investment firm, how life has changed after the purchase of EBONY and future plans for the brand.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Frank Washington, the founder and managing editor of AboutThatCar, a website devoted to all things automotive.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Frank Washington, the founder and managing editor of AboutThatCar, a website devoted to all things automotive.

Washington talks about mobile devices in cars, the new leaders in the industry, and hybrid and self-driving cars.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Carol Fulp, president and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., and author of Success Through Diversity: Why The Most Inclusive Companies Will Win. She has spent more than four decades in corporate America. 

Fulp talks about embracing diversity in all areas of an organization, building a stronger brand, what the Partnership does and how to prepare a company for shifting demographics.

On this edition of In Black America, reporter/producer KUT's DaLyah Jones fills in for host John L. Hanson Jr. and speaks with Lance Scott Walker, author of Houston Rap Tapes: An Oral History of Bayou City Hip-Hop.

Walker talks about growing up listening to hip-hop, why he decided to collaborate with photographer Peter Beste, the unknown secrets of Houston hip-hop, and why this history needs to be known. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. revisits an interview with the honorable George T. ‘Mickey’ Leland, congressman from the 18th District of Texas, and he served twice as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. revisits an interview with Robert C. Maynard, journalist, newspaper publisher, editor and former owner of the Oakland Tribune newspaper.

Maynard, who died in 1993, was a charismatic leader who changed the face of American journalism, built a four-decade career on the cornerstones of editorial integrity, community involvement, improved education and the importance of the family.

Jose Pagan

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Leon Robinson, actor, singer/songwriter, and film producer. He’s known to the world as "Leon."

Leon talks about becoming an actor, playing iconic personalities, his band, and why it’s important to tell African American stories.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Mahisha Dellinger, author, reality TV host and founder and CEO of Curls Beauty Brands. Founded in 2002 in Elk Grove, Calif., Curls is a leader in the natural hair care industry.

Dellinger talks about growing up in Sacramento, leaving her corporate job, being a single mother, launching Curls and assisting African-American women with their businesses.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tawan Davis, chief executive officer and managing partner of The Steinbridge Group.

Davis talks about growing up in Portland, Ore., taking advantage of his Ivy League education, his commitment to working-class families, and why investing in the urban single-family home market makes good business sense.

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.

 

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