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.

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. speaks with Valerie Mitchell Johnston, Deputy General Counsel, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Johnston was previously Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs for HIT Entertainment, a children's entertainment production company owned by Mattel. She comes to Lincoln Center with over 20 years of industry and law firm experience in development, production and distribution of content across various media in domestic and global markets.

In her new position, she is responsible for assisting the General Counsel in managing all legal aspects of the nonprofit organization’s programmatic, educational, fundraising and administrative activities, particularly its strategic initiatives in digital media.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Robert L. Reece, doctoral candidate at Duke University and Heather A. O’Connell, postdoctoral fellow at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, co-authors of a Rice University study, “How the Legacy of Slavery and Racial Composition Shape Public School Enrollment in the American South.”

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Aldon Morris, Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University, and author of ‘The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois: The Birth of Modern Sociology.’

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson, M.D., Triple- Board Certified Harvard and Emory trained physician who specializes in Adolescent, Adult and Forensic Psychiatrist.

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

hellobeautiful.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Ossie Davis and Rudy Dee.

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On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Peter J. Hammer, Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School, and director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, and co-author of Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents an encore presentation of a conversation he had with the late Shirley A. Chisholm.

Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to Congress and an outspoken advocate for women and minorities during her seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was known as a politician who refused to allow fellow politicians, including the male-dominated Congressional Black Caucus, to sway her from her goals.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Angela Meryl, former model and make-up artist, and author of ‘Stunts: The How To Handbook -The Secrets From An Award-Winning Hollywood Stunt Woman.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Michel Martin, weekend host of NPR’s All Things Considered.

In 2006 Martin came to NPR and launched Tell Me More, a one-hour daily NPR news and talk show that aired on NPR stations nationwide from 2007-2014 and dipped into thousands of important conversations taking place in the corridors of power, but also in houses of worship, and barber shops and beauty shops, at PTA meetings, town halls, and at the kitchen table.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. John B. Diamond, the Hoefs-Bascom Professor of Education at University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, and co-author of “Despite The Best Intentions,”

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Spencer Haywood, ABA/NBA legend and Hall of Famer.

Despite a productive NBA and ABA career, Haywood will always be remembered as the man who opened the door for underclassmen college basketball players to leave college early to play in the pros, thereby creating the "Spencer Haywood rule."

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Gayle Wald, Professor of English and American Studies at George Washington University and author of ‘It’s Been Beautiful’: Soul! and Black Power Television.

‘Soul!’ on Public Television from 1968 to 1973, was the only national TV show dedicated to cultural and political expressions of Black Power.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Gayle Wald, Professor of English and American Studies at George Washington University and author of ‘It’s Been Beautiful’: Soul! and Black Power Television.

‘Soul!’ on Public Television from 1968 to 1973, was the only national TV show dedicated to cultural and political expressions of Black Power.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Darrell M. Newton, Associate Dean and Professor in the Fulton School of Liberal Arts, Salisbury University.

Since 1979, Newton has been working in higher education. He also teaches media and cultural studies, film, broadcast writing and international media as a full professor in the Communication Arts department.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with ReShonda Tate Billingsley, award-winning national bestselling author and co-founder of Brown Girls Books.

Cornell University

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Edward E. Baptist, Professor in the Department of History, and House Dean, Becker House at Cornell University.

Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation’s original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with the Honorable Ron Kirk, former U.S. Trade Ambassador and former Mayor of Dallas, TX.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Ron Kirk, former U.S. Trade Ambassador and former Mayor of Dallas, TX.


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