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.

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In Black America Podcast
10:38 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

'Million Dollars Worth of Nerve' [Part II] with Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman.
Credit WWJ/Stephanie Davis

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Ken Coleman, journalist and author of ‘Million Dollars Worth of Nerve: Twenty-One People Who Helped To Power Black Bottom, Paradise Valley and Detroit’s Lower East Side.’

The title 'Million Dollars Worth of Nerve' comes from Michigan Chronicle Editor Louis E. Martin, who quipped that he was sent to Detroit in 1936 with $135 and “a million dollars worth of nerve.”

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In Black America Podcast
9:51 am
Wed July 15, 2015

'Million Dollars Worth of Nerve' with Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman during an April 2015 book signing.
WWJ/Stephanie Davis

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Ken Coleman, journalist, and author of ‘Million Dollars Worth of Nerve: Twenty-One People Who Helped To Power Black Bottom, Paradise Valley and Detroit’s Lower East Side.’

The title 'Million Dollars Worth of Nerve' comes from Michigan Chronicle Editor Louis E. Martin, who quipped that he was sent to Detroit in 1936 with $135 and “a million dollars worth of nerve."

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In Black America Podcast
8:06 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

Interview: 'Careeranista: The Woman's Guide to Success After College'

Chaz Pitts-Kyser, Founder and Managing Editor

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Chaz Pitts-Kyser, Founder and Managing Editor of Careeranista.com and author of Careeranista: The Woman’s Guide to Success After College.

Just 30 minutes of watching the nightly news is enough to make the average woman graduating from college want to crawl beneath the covers. The headlines always seem to come back to the sluggish economy, high rate of unemployment, fierce competition for jobs, and ultimately, just how unlucky young professionals are for having to build a career amid such misfortune.

The bad news? It really is a tough time for recent graduates. The good news? Armed with her new book, young women can gain the knowledge and insight needed to begin crafting rewarding careers despite any obstacles they may face.

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In Black America Podcast
10:39 am
Wed July 1, 2015

The Thrill Is Gone: Remembering The Legendary B.B. King

In this June 20, 2008 photo, musician B.B. King performs at the opening night of the 87th season of the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. King died Thursday, May 14, 2015, peacefully in his sleep at his Las Vegas home at age 89, his lawyer said.
Credit AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with legendary blues musician B.B. King. King died on May 14, 2015. He was 89.

The winner of 15 Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Kennedy Center Honors, and more, King leaves a legacy of influence on American music. Coming from the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta, he remained true to the blues, and won millions of fans including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and U.S. Presidents.

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In Black America Podcast
7:59 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

Ylonda Gault Caviness How Old School Parenting Worked [Part II]

Ylonda Gault Caviness

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. conclude his conversation with Ylonda Gault Caviness, veteran journalists, education advocate and author of ‘Child, Please: How Mama’s Old School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself.’

Caviness was raised on P-Funk and chicken wings by a mama whose “expert” advice was a beat-down glare and five simple words: Don’t. Make. Me. Hurt. You. When she became a mother herself, she flouted Mama’s old-fashioned ways.

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In Black America Podcast
2:23 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Ylonda Gault Caviness: How Old School Parenting Worked

Ylonda Gault Caviness has spent more than a decade writing about parenting for iVillage's Parenting and Pregnancy channel.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KEITH MAJOR

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Ylonda Gault Caviness, veteran journalists, education advocate and author of ‘Child, Please: How Mama’s Old School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself.’

Caviness was raised on P-Funk and chicken wings by a mama whose “expert” advice was a beat-down glare and five simple words: Don’t. Make. Me. Hurt. You. When she became a mother herself, she flouted Mama’s old-fashioned ways.

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In Black America Podcast
11:14 am
Wed June 10, 2015

The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers

Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is the Senior Vice President of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement for Nielsen. She is responsible for increasing the company’s brand awareness among African American, Asian American and Hispanic non-profit organizations, leaders and consumers.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Senior Vice President of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement for Nielsen. Nielsen is a leading global provider of information and insights that measure what consumers watch and buy in more than 100 countries around the world.

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In Black America Podcast
11:26 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescription

A. Mechele Dickerson is a nationally recognized bankruptcy law scholar and a global media expert on consumer debt. She is the author of Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescriptions.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with A. Mechele Dickerson, Law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, and author of ‘Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescriptions.

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In Black America Podcast
11:07 am
Wed May 27, 2015

‘Only the Strong,’ by Jabari Asim

Jabari Asim

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Jabari Asim, associate professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College, executive editor of The Crisis Magazine and author of ‘Only The Strong,’

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In Black America Podcast
2:55 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program [Part II]

Richard Paul and Steven Moss

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. conclude his conversation with Richard Paul, an award-winning independent public radio documentary producer, and Steven Moss, Associate Professor of English at Texas State Technical College, co-authors of ‘We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program.’

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In Black America Podcast
10:14 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program

Clyde Foster processes telemetry at the Marshall Space Flight Center in 1965 in a photo that appeared in Ebony magazine. As a NASA employee, Foster was a leader in getting jobs and advancing engineering education for African Americans.
Courtesy of Don Rutledge ©

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Richard Paul, an award-winning independent public radio documentary producer, and Steven Moss, Associate Professor of English at Texas State Technical College, co-authors of ‘We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program.’

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In Black America Podcast
2:09 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Remembering Ron Banks, Founder of The Dramatics

The Dramatics. Ron Banks, front row, center.

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

Banks’ sweet voice and smooth choreography helped distinguish the Dramatics, particularly in Detroit’s post-Motown scene of the 1970s, when the group enjoyed crossover pop success with songs such as”Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” and “In the Rain.”

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In Black America Podcast
12:31 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

From Daddyless to Destiny

Tunette Powell, award-winning motivational speaker and author, is Co-Founder and CEO of The Truth Heals – a nonprofit for individuals and families affected by fatherlessness

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tunette Powell, motivational speaker, author, education consultant and co-founder of The Truth Heals.

Powell has made it her mission to be a voice of hope and healing for some of the world’s most despaired and underserved populations. She currently serves as the CEO of The Truth Heals and sits on a host of nonprofit boards.

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In Black America Podcast
10:10 am
Thu April 23, 2015

In Black America Podcast: A Talk With Janet Cheatman Bell

Janet Cheatman Bell
Kevin O. Moone

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Janet Cheatham Bell, author, editor and publishing consultant.

After graduating from Indiana University in 1964, Bell began her professional career as a high school librarian in Saginaw, Michigan. In early 1968 she accepted a position at the Ohio University Library in Athens. A few months later, in the wake of student responses to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the university recruited her to teach freshman composition and African American literature.

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In Black America Podcast
12:31 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The 2014 NFL Season and Super Bowl XLIX

Credit The National Football League

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 2014 NFL season and Super Bowl XLIX. Featured on today’s program are Jarrett Bell, USA Today Sports NFL columnist, Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, and Newy Scruggs, Sports Director with KXAS-TV.

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In Black America Podcast
11:03 am
Thu April 9, 2015

A Talk With Major League Baseball Legend and Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron [Part II]

LBJ Presidential Library Director Mark Updegrove talks with Hank Aaron
LBJ Library photo by Lauren Gerson

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. conclude his highlights of a conversation with Hank Aaron, Civil Rights Activist, Major League Baseball legend, Hall of Famer, and senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves, at the 2015 Tom Johnson Lecture series.

Before joining the Braves front office, Aaron enjoyed a 23-year major league career during which he rewrote baseball’s hitting record book. He holds more major league batting records than any other player in the game’s history. On May 17, 1970, Aaron became the first player to compile both 3,000 career hits and more than 500 homers. Along with Frank Robinson, Aaron was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY, on August 1, 1982.

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In Black America Podcast
9:31 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

A Talk With Major League Baseball Legend and Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron

LBJ Presidential Library Director Mark Updegrove talks with Hank Aaron
LBJ Library photo by Lauren Gerson

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of a conversation with Hank Aaron, Civil Rights Activist, Major League Baseball legend, Hall of Famer, and senior vice president of the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc., at the 2015 Tom Johnson Lecture series.

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In Black America Podcast
5:49 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

The Tenth Annual Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Salute To Excellence Awards

These coaches were among many who were selected as Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Salute to Excellence Honorees.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 10th Annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute To Excellence Awards held during Super Bowl XLIX week.

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In Black America Podcast
3:00 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Gospel Singer Tracy Randall Talks Faith, Music and Not Taking Life for Granted

Tracy Randall, Founder, President and CEO of Original Man Entertainment Group, Inc.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tracy Randall, Grammy Award nominated singer/songwriter, attorney and cancer survivor.

Randall isn't supposed to be here. In 2006, he was diagnosed with leukemia and after aggressive rounds of chemo and radiation therapy, his doctors gave up and in February 2007 told him to go home and prepare to die. Through pure will, a positive attitude, his faith and alternative medical treatments, he’s still here and still singing.

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In Black America Podcast
3:18 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

The Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at The University of Texas at Austin

Daron K. Roberts, founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at The University of Texas at Austin.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Daron K. Roberts, founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at The University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as a lecturer in the Liberal Arts Honors program.

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