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 Monday nights at 10:30 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, we listen back to a 1988 conversation with Pulitzer-prize winning author Alex Haley.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with J. Paul Montgomery.

From the orange groves in Florida in the 1940's to the U.S. Army in the 1950's through the 1980's, Montgomery fought prejudice for being a dark-complexioned African American man, even within his own family.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, and author of ‘Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100 Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture.’

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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.

During the less than 13 years of King’s leadership of the civil rights movement, from December 1955 until April 4, 1968, African-Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality in America than the previous 350 years had produced. King is widely regarded as America’s preeminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Ruth Brown, the original queen of rhythm and blues.

Brown’s career took her from the Apollo theatre to Broadway. She was the most prolific African American female R&B vocalist of the '50's, surpassing Dinah Washington for a time.

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On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with late Dr. John Hope Franklin, Ph.D.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Gospel recording artist Bishop Rance Allen.

Bishop Allen and his brothers Tom and Steve formed The Rance Allen Group in 1969 and introduced a new contemporary and innovative sound to the gospel music audience, incorporating rock, jazz and soul into the music.

One of 12 children, Allen preached his first sermon and started performing as a gospel singer at age 5. He began playing piano by age 7 and the guitar a few years later.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, President and CEO of Huston Tillotson University.

As the first female president and chief executive officer of the merged Huston-Tillotson University and the second female president in the college’s 140-year history, Burnette began her new role on July 1, 2015.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, President and CEO of Huston-Tillotson University.

As the first female president and chief executive officer of the merged Huston-Tillotson University and the second female president in the college’s 140-year history, Burnette began her new role on July 1, 2015.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Joe Madison, “The Black Eagle”, the award-winning national talk show host on SiriusXM Urban View radio.

Madison is on the case daily talking about politics and social activism, while challenging the status quo ensuring that people of color are not undervalued, underestimated, or marginalized. He has been named one of Talker Magazine’s 10 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America for eleven consecutive years.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Joe Madison, “The Black Eagle”, the award-winning national talk show host on SiriusXM Urban View radio.

Madison is on the case daily talking about politics and social activism, while challenging the status quo ensuring that people of color are not undervalued, underestimated, or marginalized. He has been named one of Talker Magazine’s 10 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America for eleven consecutive years.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Ben Tankard, the godfather of Gospel/Jazz music, and author of ‘The Full Tank Life: Fuel Your Dreams, Ignite Your Destiny.’

A true Renaissance man, he also serves as a motivational speaker for the NBA, designs a line of men's clothing, and pilots his own plane. Together with his wife Jewel, he pastors a growing church outside of Nashville, TN.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Ben Tankard, the godfather of Gospel/Jazz music, and author of ‘The Full Tank Life: Fuel Your Dreams, Ignite Your Destiny.’

A true Renaissance man, he also serves as a motivational speaker for the NBA, designs a line of men's clothing, and pilots his own plane. Together with his wife Jewel, he pastors a growing church outside of Nashville, TN.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly, vice president for student affairs and dean of students at The University of Texas at Austin.

Lilly collaborates with students, faculty and staff to help create a safe and welcoming campus where students can thrive through healthy learning environments.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Taji Senior, Public Relations Executive for Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

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, TX, the new owners of Ebony Magazine and JETMag.com; and Lynn Norment, former senior writer and managing editor with Ebony Magazine.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Rudy Jackson, Jr., Ph.D., founder and president of College Prep Professionals, LLC.

College Prep Professionals, LLC is one of the Atlanta, GA region’s most experienced and capable college preparation businesses.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Rudy Jackson, Jr., Ph.D., founder and president of College Prep Professionals, LLC.

College Prep Professionals, is one of the Atlanta, GA region’s most experienced and capable college preparation businesses.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a tribute to the late George E. Curry, a veteran journalist and civil rights activist who was considered by many to be a dean of the Black press died August 20, 2016. He was 69.

Born George Edward Curry on February 23, 1947, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; his mother worked as a domestic and his father was a mechanic. Curry's father abandoned the family when Curry was just seven years old, leaving him to step into the role of the man of the house, assisting his mother in raising his three younger sisters.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Soul music legend Candi Staton.

Staton just finished her sold-out, 'Young Hearts Run Free 40th Anniversary' concert tour of Europe and has now released her first gospel album since 2008 entitled  ‘It’s Time To Be Free.’

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