Bates first became motivated to write as a coping mechanism to deal with a traumatic experience he had as a child at age 10. It was an unfortunate moment where he became the witness, nearly, losing his father. The encounter traumatized him to the point of muteness, but that moment, also, triggered an inner force, he had no idea he possessed — a love for the creative arts.
July 15, 2019
On Tuesday at 9 a.m., teachers will hear from Tulsa author and historian Hannibal Johnson, who has written extensively about the Greenwood District, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre. Johnson is also a contributor on the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.
Productive conversations around race are nearly impossible unless the inexperienced-party or individual decides to risk it all by moving out of their comfort zones and getting proximate with those experiencing adverse issues — in this case, with community members who have experienced negative encounters with Tulsa police officers.