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 Tuesdays at 9:30 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.

Courtesy of Brittney Cooper

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Brittney Cooper, assistant professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower.

Copper talks about how she embraced her anger, the future of black feminism and the politics of self-help.

growlermag.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Chris Montana, owner and head distiller Du Nord Craft Spirits, located in Minneapolis, Minn. 

Montana talks about waking up one morning and deciding he wanted to make booze, being the only African-American craft distiller, and mixing his wife's rural upbringing with his urban experience to create a family business.

Courtesy of RISE

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of Rise and NFL 3rd annual Super Bowl Town Hall featuring NFL players and executives. 

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.

proplayerinsider.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 31st Super Bowl Breakfast, in which Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson received The Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award. Bart Starr Jr. and former NFL head coach Tony Dungy were also guests at the event.

In his acceptance speech, Watson talked about his family, his faith and his community.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Strauss Moore Shiple, project director with the South Carolina’s Olde English District, and Louis Venters, professor of African-America and American history at Francis Marion University.

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