At the ripe age of 12, award-winning writer and aspiring filmmaker Bates announced that he wanted to be “the Black Peter Jennings.” This followed his earlier desire to be an astronaut and a cowboy. He’s sat through SpaceCamp, more times than he cares to share, and thanks to his tenure as a boy scout, has lassoed a steer or two. Journalism indeed beckoned, and Bates has written for a variety of publications and outlets since high school, including JUMP, the Leader, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and ReelTalk Movie Reviews. Bates has won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club in both the collegiate and professional divisions dating back to 1999.
In 2013, he became the first writer to win the press club’s “best critical review” award in both competitive divisions. Also in 2013, Bates was among a group of adult mentors and teens who took part in the 2012 Milwaukee Summer Entertainment Camp to be honored by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the group behind the Emmy Awards) with a Crystal Pillar Award for excellence in high school television production. For this year’s Black Writers Week, Bates penned the essay, “When Angela Bassett Found Her Inner Tina Turner.”
Bates is also doing a revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” next month at Waukesha Civic Theatre in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the weekend of Friday, August 18th through Sunday, August 20th.