After Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was gunned down in 2007 on the orders of Yusuf Bey IV, a former colleague at the Oakland Tribune, Thomas Peele, was appointed lead reporter for the Chauncey Bailey Project. This unique investigative coalition played a major part in helping bring Bey to justice for trying to stop the publication of an unflattering story about the You Black Muslim Bakery.
Tomorrow, Peele takes it a step further with the release of the book Killing the Messenger: A Story of Radical Faith, Racism’s Backlash and the Assassination of a Journalist. Over the weekend, Tribune reporter Tammerline Drummond previewed this new work:
Peele takes us to Chicago and Detroit to the heart of the Nation of Islam and to Los Angeles where a police shooting at a mosque convinced Santa Barbara hairdresser Joseph Stephens to join the Black Muslim movement. Stephens who would later rename himself Yusuf Bey, opened Your Black Muslim Bakery in 1971.
Bailey’s murder was part of a larger pattern of evil. According to Peele’s book, after a bakery employee caught Bey sexually assaulting a young boy in a bathroom and spoke to others about the incident, the worker was shot to death. It was just one of many bakery horror stories ignored over the years by local politicians and an intimidated Oakland police force.
To read Drummond’s article, click here.