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
3:03 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

The Legacy of John Saunders Chase

John S. Chase, seen in 1998, was the first licensed African American architect in Texas and a political power broker
Credit Houston Chronicle photo library

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late John Saunders Chase, the first African American graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the first African American President of The Texas Exes.

Chase was a pioneering architect who broke barriers in Texas and elsewhere. He served as CEO of John S. Chase Architect Inc., a firm he founded in 1952 after graduating from UT-Austin as its first African American architecture student. He also was the first African American architect to be licensed in the state of Texas and the first to be admitted to the Texas Society of Architects and the American Institute of Architects’ Houston (TX) chapter. His architectural imprint can be seen globally. He was commissioned to design the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia.

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In Black America
1:08 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Remembering Joseph Leslie 'Joe' Sample

Joseph Leslie "Joe" Sample was a pianist, keyboard player, and composer. He was one of the founding members of the Jazz Crusaders, the band which became simply the Crusaders in 1971, and remained a part of the group until its final album in 1991.

On this edition of In Black America, producer & host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Joe Sample.

Sample was a pianist, keyboard player and composer, who became a jazz star in the 1960s with the Jazz Crusaders and an even bigger star a decade later when he began playing electric keyboards and the group simplified its name to the Crusaders.

The Jazz Crusaders, who played the muscular, bluesy variation on bebop known as hard bop, had their roots in Houston, where Sample, the tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and the drummer Nesbert ‘Stix’ Hooper began performing together as the Swingsters while in high school.

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In Black America Podcast
9:30 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

'Only By Grace' Author Dr. Edward D. Irons [Part II]

Dr. Edward D. Irons

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. Four Atlanta mayors, three Georgia governors, and one Oklahoma governor appointed him to boards and commissions.

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In Black America Podcast
9:44 am
Tue January 20, 2015

The Black Heritage Network

Hezekiah Lewis

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Hezekiah Lewis, President and CEO with the Black Heritage Network.

Founded in 2010, BHN.TV brings its viewers quality, relevant programming that reflects the African American experience. The founders believe that it was time to step up and create one TV channel whose single mission is to be the first and only full-time television destination for the real stories of African American  life in America. They believe that African American heritage is American heritage.

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In Black America
10:56 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King shortly before his speech on the National Mall on August 28, 1963
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

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 thirteen years of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership of the modern Civil Rights Movement, from December 1955 until April 4, 1968, African Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality than the previous 350 years had produced. King is widely regarded as the preeminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.

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In Black America Podcast
1:53 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

In Black America Podcast: 'Only By Grace' Author Dr. Edward D. Irons

Dr. Edward D. Irons

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.”

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In Black America Podcast
1:24 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

In Black America Podcast: The Life and Legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin

The late Dr. John Hope Franklin
Tim Dillon, USA TODAY

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

Franklin was born in Rentiesville, Oklahoma, in 1915, only fifty years after slavery had been abolished. His father practiced law, and his mother taught elementary school, and from an early age he learned the power of words and ideas. Following his father’s lead, Franklin spent every evening reading or writing. From his parents he also learned how to survive and thrive in a time when the color line was indelibly drawn.

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In Black America Podcast
8:52 am
Tue December 23, 2014

In Black America Podcast: ‘Burning Down The House’ Makes The Case to Eliminate Juvenile Prisons

Nell Bernstein

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Nell Bernstein, award-winning journalist and author of “Burning Down The House:  The End of Juvenile Prisons.”

Today, youths in juvenile prisons are disproportionately children of color from poor neighborhoods, and Bernstein says they’re more likely to have been victims of violence than to have committed it. And African American teens are locked up at five times the rate of whites.

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In Black America Podcast
8:02 am
Wed December 17, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Remembering Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee

Rudy Dee and Ossie Davis

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

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In Black America Podcast
9:08 am
Tue December 9, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Author Joe Henry on the 'Furious Cool' of Richard Pryor

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson, Jr. speaks with Joe Henry, co-author of "Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and The World That Made Him."

Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic during his life, Pryor’s performances opened up a whole new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in new, unthinkable ways . Now, Henry's groundbreaking book brings him to life again both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth exploration of his talent, his lasting influence and an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the myriad influences that shaped both his persona and his art.

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In Black America Podcast
6:57 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

In Black America Podcast: 'The Woman Code' Author Sophia A. Nelson

Sophia A. Nelson, Esq.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Sophia A. Nelson, Esq., author of ‘The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life.”

Nelson is an award-winning author and journalist. She is also a highly sought-after corporate leadership trainer and motivational speaker. Nelson has a national platform that is making strides to help women lead more fulfilling and powerful lives in and out of the workplace.

In her latest book, "The Woman Code," Nelson asks women to examine their spiritual, professional and personal daily habits in an effort to guide them to purposeful and successful lives.

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In Black America Podcast
9:47 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Keymel Technologies, LLC

Kenner Rogers, Founder and President of Keymel Technologies, LLC

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Kenner Rogers, Founder and President of Keymel Technologies, LLC.

Rogers, a New Orleans native grew up with a passion for gardening, which later evolved into his love for Science, Metrology and Environmental studies. He often reflects on a commercial that depicted a Native American Indian dishearten by once a pristine landscape that became desolate and defiled due to pollution.

That commercial left a profound impact on him, which resulted in the development of a philosophy that, “respect what Mother Nature has provided, and preserve what God has given for future generations,” he says. This philosophy along with the “going green” movement ignited him to seek business opportunities in the field.

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In Black America Podcast
10:21 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

In Black America Podcast: The Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships

Dr. James C. Wadley, Ph.D

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. James C. Wadley Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Human Services program at Lincoln University, and founding editor of The Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships.

Wadley’s academic and professional background in human sexuality education and educational leadership has enabled him to galvanize scholars and practitioners in the field of sexology across the world.

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In Black America Podcast
6:26 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Dr. Allison Willis on How Race Affects Parkinson’s Treatments

Credit University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics

On this edition of "In Black America," producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Allison Willis, assistant professor of neurology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.

In her study Dr. Willis finds that African Americans with Parkinson’s Disease are less likely than whites with the disease to receive deep brain stimulation surgery to reduce tremors.

Parkinson’s Disease affects more than 2 million Americans, and deep brain stimulation surgery has been shown to be effective but involves extensive pre-operative testing and may include costs not covered by many insurance plans, including Medicare.

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In Black America Podcast
6:05 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Dr. Mable Johns, Minister and Former Blues and R&B Singer

Dr. Mable Johns

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Mable Johns, minister, author, and former Blues and R&B singer.

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In Black America Podcast
12:59 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Fighting HIV/AIDS In The African American Community

Dr. Donna Hubbard McCree, Ph.D

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Donna Hubbard McCree, Associate Director for Health Equity, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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In Black America Podcast
1:18 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

In Black America Podcast: 'Culture Worrier' Clarence Page

Clarence Page, Syndicated Columnist and Author

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Clarence Page, syndicated columnist with the Chicago Tribune and author of "Culture Worrier."

Twice a week, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Page addresses the social, economic and political issues affecting Americans. Writing with passion and style, Page delivers lively commentary on today's pressing issues, such as crime, education, housing, hunger and bigotry.

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In Black America Podcast
2:33 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Dr. Richard J. Reddick Reflects on Michael Brown’s Death

Dr. Richard J. Reddick, Ed.D.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Richard J. Reddick, associate professor and coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin's College of Education, and a member of the 100 Black Men of Austin.

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In Black America Podcast
9:02 am
Mon October 6, 2014

In Black America Podcast: ‘No Love, No Charity’ with Paul Lamar Hunter

Paul Lamar Hunter

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Paul Lamar Hunter, author of ‘No Love, No Charity: the Success of the 19th Child.’

Though many would consider Hunter to be an unlikely candidate to become successful, his thrilling autobiographical account describes how he made it, despite overwhelming odds.

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In Black America Podcast
8:47 am
Mon September 29, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Austin Business Leader Natalie Madeira Cofield

Natalie Cofield, President and CEO, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Natalie Madeira Cofield, President & CEO of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, located in Austin, TX; Founding President of the Austin Black Technology Council and Founder of Walker’s Legacy a national women in business collective.

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