In Black America

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Robert Townsend, comedian, actor, film director/producer, writer and former cable network programming CEO, whose projects include Hollywood ShuffleThe Meteor Man and The Five Heartbeats.

Townsend talks about growing up in Chicago, being an independent filmmaker, his first big movie break, working with Eddie Murphy and why he believes The Five Heartbeats is a classic film.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Andrew J. Young, former UN ambassador, Georgia congressman and mayor of Atlanta. In the 1960s, Young helped change the country as a leader in the civil rights movement.

Young talks about growing up in segregated New Orleans, his passion and commitment to social justice, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, his foundation and elected politics. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Abdul "Duke" Fakir, founding member of The Four Tops, and Mary Wilson, best-selling author, former U.S. cultural ambassador and founding member of The Supremes.

They  talk about growing up in Detroit, forming their singing groups, signing with Motown Records, and why their music is just as popular today as it was when they first recorded it.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Claudette Annette Robinson, founding member of the Motown recording group Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Robinson was the first female artist signed to the Tamla/Motown label.

Robinson talks about growing up in Detroit, forming Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the legacy of Motown Records, and why their music has stood the test of time.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Vanessa Wyche, deputy director at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. In August 2018, she made history when she was appointed the first African American deputy director of the Johnson Space Center.

Wyche talks about becoming an engineer, her passion for science, growing up in South Carolina, mentoring minorities, and her new position.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the Summit on Race in America: Liberty and Justice for All, held last spring at the LBJ Presidential Library at UT Austin.

Featured on the program is a speech given by Vernon E. Jordan, civil rights icon,  former president and CEO of the National Urban League and former executive director of the United Negro College Fund. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights from the 20th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington, a massive gathering near the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, to draw attention to racial inequities. It was on this occasion that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech.

Featured on the program are the Honorable Andrew Young; the late Congressman Mickey Leland; Martin Luther King, III; the Honorable John Lewis; Dr. Maya Angelou and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. 

 On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a 2018 interview with Dr. Patrice A. Harris, MD, a psychiatrist and president of the American Medical Association. She served for a year as president-elect and became 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 black community, and being the first African-American woman to lead the AMA.

 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a 2018 interview 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 prostate screenings and the Urology Care Foundation.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a 2018 interview 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. presents a 2015 interview with Peter Hammer, professor of law at Wayne State University and co-author of Crusader For Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith.

Keith was appointed to the federal bench in 1967 and served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Keith died in April at 96.  

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Joel Baker, who became Austin's first African-American fire department chief after serving more than 30 years with the fire department in Atlanta. 

Baker talks about becoming a firefighter, the shoulders of African-American firefighters he stands on, why his appointment is significant, what he wants to accomplish as fire chief, and how fighting fires has changed.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Selena Sage, publisher, inspirational speaker and author of Get Free: 7 Simple Steps to Free Your Mind & Live Your Dreams.

Born and raised in Austin, Sage graduated from the LBJ Science Academy (now LASA), and then went on to graduate from Northwestern University with degrees in industrial engineering and business.

Sage talks about growing up in Austin, becoming an author and publisher, leaving corporate America and living her life dream.

  On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the Summit On Race In America: Liberty and Justice for All, held last spring at the LBJ Presidential Library at UT Austin.

Featured on the program is a conversation with Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the Summit On Race In America: Liberty and Justice for All

Today's show concludes highlights of a discussion with songwriters James ‘Jimmy Jam' Harris III, Shemekia Copeland, and Wyclef Jean from the event, held last spring at the LBJ Presidential Library at UT Austin.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the Summit On Race In America: Liberty and Justice for All.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the Summit On Race In America: Liberty and Justice for All, held last spring at the LBJ Presidential Library at UT Austin.

Featured on the program are two civil rights legends: Dolores Huerta, founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and the Honorable Andrew Young, former U.N. ambassador, congressman and mayor of Atlanta. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Linda Burke, a board-certified OB-GYN, and author of The Smart Mother's Guide to a Better Pregnancy: How to minimize risks, avoid complications and have a healthy baby. Dr. Burke is on a mission to keep pregnant women and their babies out of harm’s way.

Dr. Burke talks about preventable medical errors, labor-room problems, maternal mortality and planning your pregnancy.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a 2005 interview with Dr. Lorraine E. Branham, who was then director of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

She went on to become dean and professor of journalism at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications

Branham died in April at 66.  

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Alicia Olatuja, vocalist, composer and arranger. When you hear Olatuja sing, it’s something you won’t soon forget.

She has taken being a vocalist to a whole new level, by combining many genres including classical, jazz and R&B.

Olatuja talks about singing for President Obama, her new CD, female artists and her feminine strength.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes highlights of the 32nd Super Bowl Breakfast, in which Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell received The Athletes In Action/Bart Starr Award.

Also featured on the program are former NFL head coach Tony Dungy, former Atlanta Falcons head coach and two-time Super Bowl champion Dan Reeves; and Clark Hunt, chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights from the 32nd Super Bowl Breakfast, in which Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell received The Athletes In Action/Bart Starr Award.

Also featured on the program are Bart Starr Jr. and former NFL head coach Tony Dungy.

On this archived edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Ron Banks. The singer was a founding member of the Detroit vocal group The Dramatics, which formed in the mid-1960s and continued to play for avid audiences around the country for years.

Banks talks about growing up in Detroit, not signing with Motown Records, forming the soul group and what distinguishes them from other male vocal groups, and wanting to be a professional baseball player.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Ben Tankard, minister, motivational speaker, best-selling author, reality TV dad, and gospel/jazz musician. Tankard has been referred to as the "Godfather of Gospel/Jazz,” for his instrumental magic that has bridged the gap between two genres.

Tankard talks about his upbringing, discovering his talent, starting his ministry and his NAACP Image Award nomination. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes highlights of the 14th Annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute to Excellence Awards held during Super Bowl LIII week in February.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 14th Annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute To Excellence Awards held during Super Bowl LIII week in February.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with cardiologist Garth Graham, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services and president of the Aetna Foundation. Graham is a leading expert on the social determinants of health.

Graham talks about health care disparities, cardiovascular disease, nutrition and public health.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Robert F. Jefferson Jr., associate professor of history at the University of New Mexico and author of Brothers in Valor: Battlefield Stories of the 89 African Americans Awarded the Medal of Honor.

Brothers in Valor is a history lesson on 89 men who were awarded the nation’s highest military award, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Kimmie Horne, an international jazz vocalist, model and actress.

When you hear Horne sing, you know she was born to be a jazz singer. She’s a descendant of the legendary songstress Lena Horne and the niece of the great singer/songwriter Cleveland Horne of the Fantastic Four.

Horne talks about the influence Detroit had on her becoming a singer, the jazz festival she started, being a spokesperson and her new CD.

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. 

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