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.

Cocoa Media Group

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Angela Burt-Murray editorial director of Cocoa Media Group, a new digital media company that launched CocoaFab.com and CocoaFab.TV to feature entertainment, style and original web series for young women of color. 

Prior to launching CMG, she was the editor-in-chief of ESSENCE magazine, where she oversaw the editorial direction for ESSENCE magazine—the premier lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty magazine for African-American women—as well as Essence.com—the leading daily online destination to serve that audience.

The University of Texas at Austin

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.

John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation

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

University of Wisconsin-Madison

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Professor Jerlando F.L. Jackson.

Jackson is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His early career achievements – including becoming the first African-American to be hired, tenured, promoted to full professor, and bestowed a named professorship in his department – have put him in an extremely elite category for professional achievement. 

chacha.com

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

Playwright, director, producer, actor, and advocate for civil and social rights, Davis was a passionate man with many achievements. As an actor, he starred on stage and in films based on race-conscious issues including "A Raisin in the Sun," "No Way Out," "The Joe Lewis Story," and received an NAACP Image Award for his work in "Do the Right Thing." He appeared on several television series, such as "The Defenders," "The Client," "Queen," "The Stand," and "Evening Shade."

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