Associate Producer Derek John joined Studio 360 in 2004 and is currently the show's News Editor. The Kansas native first caught the radio bug from a local doo-wop deejay who called himself "the daddio of the rad-dio." Derek eventually hosted his own radio shows at KU's legendary KJHK, before moving to New York in 2001. He worked for PBS' Bill Moyers and NPR's On the Media before freelancing all over public radio on subjects ranging from early hip-hop to the future of books. His reporting has taken him from the bowels of Grand Central Station to a hot rod shop in the Mojave Desert and won numerous awards. Recent productions include a feature on Tea Party protest music, the first ever 3-D radio broadcast, and a documentary on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. His writing has appeared in New York, The New York Sun, and the Village Voice. He holds a Masters in Cultural Reporting & Criticism from NYU, where he currently teaches a radio reporting course.
A classic of black cinema celebrated its 40th birthday on June 25. Cooley High showed a slice of urban life rarely seen in "blaxploitation" movies of the time. Set in Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project, it became a touchstone for filmmakers like John Singleton and Spike Lee.