John L. Hanson Jr. | KUOW News and Information

John L. Hanson Jr.

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 to the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins, district judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and author of Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with entertainment attorney Dr. Tracy Randall, Ph.D.  The Grammy-nominated songwriter and gospel recording artist is a cancer survivor.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Yvette M. Miley, senior vice president for MSNBC & NBC News, and the 2017 recipient of the Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Greg Mathis, former Superior Court judge for Michigan's 36th District and host of Judge Mathis.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Phill Wilson, president and chief executive officer of the Black AIDS Institute, decades after the virus was first discovered.  


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Jarrett Bell, NFL columnist with USA Today Sports and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, about becoming a sports reporter, the National Football League and Colin Kaepernick

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Jarrett Bell, NFL columnist with USA Today and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, about becoming a sports reporter, the National Football League and the controversy surrounding former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Elva Diane Green, daughter of Eddie Green and author of Eddie Green: The Rise of an Early 1900’s Black American Entertainment Pioneer.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Elva Diane Green, daughter of Eddie Green and author of Eddie Green: The Rise of an Early 1900’s Black American Entertainment Pioneer.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with radio and television veteran Donnie Simpson about growing up in Detroit, becoming a DJ at the age of 15 and being a part of cable television history at the launch of BET.

On this special edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Greg Mathis, former Superior Court judge for Michigan's 36th District and host of Judge Mathis. Mathis talks about manhood and the upcoming 19th season of his reality-based court show.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Robert L. Wilkins, a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and author of Long Road to Hard Truth.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Motown Gospel recording artist Paul Porter about growing up in Detroit, the "accidental" discovery of his talent and putting God first.  

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks to Jeff Ballou. Ballou is the National Press Club president and the news editor for Al-Jazeera's English-language channel. 

He spoke about his experience as journalist of color and the importance of attracting and retaining diverse voices in media. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a tribute to the late George T. "Mickey" Leland, a former congressman from the 18th Congressional District of Houston.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Charles S. Corprew, III, Ph.D., founder and president of WYRevolution Consulting. Corprew, who has studied the issue of hypermasculinity, tells Hanson that African-American men have a responsibility to give back to younger men and that mentoring is key to more successful outcomes.  

One of the most profound events in Michigan's history is the Detroit riot of 1967. I was 16 years old on that day in July. My brother and I were on our way to visit our cousins three blocks from where the riot began.

Detroit, like many urban areas in the 1960s, was a place of racial tension and social unrest. The African-American community had trouble finding jobs and housing, and faced harassment from Detroit’s police force, which was 95 percent white.

On this week’s program, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream And The Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Help Win the Space Race.

 


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Angela Shelf Medearis, the founder and president of Diva Productions and an award-winning author of children's books and cookbooks. 


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Foyekemi Ikyaator, an emergency room physician and medical director of Life Savers Emergency Room in Houston.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Moses Shepherd, founder and CEO of ACE Petroleum, a Detroit-based national fuel supplier.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Joyce F.  King, broadcaster, columnist, and author of ‘Exonerated: A Brief and Dangerous Freedom.’

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Merri Dee, legendary television and radio personality, and author of Life Lessons on Faith, Forgiveness & Grace.

As a trailblazer in both radio and television, Dee has served as a newscaster, talk-show host and staff announcer. Later she served as director of community relations at WGN-TV and as adviser to other Tribune-owned TV stations.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Michael Tubbs mayor of Stockton, CA.

During the 20th century, Stockton was a commercial hub between Sacramento and San Francisco. It had military installations and was regularly used as a Hollywood set. But when Tubbs grew up there in the 1990's, gunshots whizzed in the streets and more than half of the city’s high schoolers dropped out before graduation.

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 Dr. Louis Venters, professor of African America and American history at Francis Marion University.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Ann M. Williams, the founder and artistic adviser of Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Zenetta S. Drew, its executive director.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. remembers the late Dr. William Charles Akins, retired educator, high school principal and district administer with the Austin Independent School District. Akins died on March 29, 2017. He was 84.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., former CEO at the King Center, grandson of Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and nephew of Dr. King Jr.

In this new foreword to the book, King, Sr.’s grandson Isaac Newton Farris, Jr. shares what "Daddy King" meant to him as a family member, and discusses the far-reaching legacy of King, Sr.’s activism for civil rights and racial justice. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Isaac Newton Farris Jr., former CEO at the King Center, grandson of the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and nephew of Dr. King Jr.

In this new foreword to the book, Farris shares what Daddy King meant to him as a family member and discusses the far-reaching legacy of King Sr.’s activism for civil rights and racial justice. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 12th annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute to Excellence Awards held during Super Bowl XL week.

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