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, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Robert C. Maynard, journalist, newspaper publisher, editor and former owner of the Oakland Tribune newspaper.

Maynard 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.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Edward D. Irons, noted educator, financial and business executive, and author of ‘Only By Grace.’

Irons spent more than sixty years as a university educator; a business, government and educational executive; a management and financial consultant to business, banks and to the U.S. and foreign governments including the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa. He served on a number of corporate boards and numerous nonprofit organizations.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Bob Ray Sanders retired associate editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Sanders worked many years at the Dallas/Fort Worth PBS and NPR affiliate KERA-TV/KERA-FM, where he served as reporter, producer, station manager, and vice president.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Daron K. Roberts, former NFL coach and founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation at the University of Texas. Roberts also serves as a lecturer in the Liberal Arts Honors program where he teaches courses on sports leadership and innovation.

Randy Belice

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Joyce Ann Brown founder, president and CEO of Mothers (Fathers) For The Advancement of Social Systems, Inc. On June 13, 2015, Brown passed away in Dallas (TX) after suffering a heart attack. She was 68.

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.”

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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,’

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.’

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.’

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.”

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.

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.

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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