Monday, February 13th


Thomas Peele | Killing the Messenger: A Story of Radical Faith, Racism's Backlash, and the Assassination of a Journalist

Seating is limited – RSVP required: juliehirano@berkeley.edu | 510.642.3394

On the morning of August 2, 2007, journalist Chauncey Bailey, editor of the weekly Oakland Post, was gunned down in broad daylight and died.

Investigating police would soon uncover the motive behind Bailey’s shocking murder: to stop a story.  Bailey was working on an article about Your Black Muslim Bakery, an Oakland institution posing as a charitable organization but uncovered as a criminal and violent one. The Bakery was founded by a man named Joseph Stephens who later took the name Yusuf Ali Bey. Bey preached of Black Power and fundamental Black Muslim beliefs, while behind the scenes he led a violent cult. When he died in 2003, a bloody internal struggle ensued with Bey’s son, Yusuf Bey IV, eventually seizing control. Under Bey IV, the Bakery began to crumble and fell into bankruptcy. As Chauncey Bailey was investigating the Bakery and the Beys, Bey IV ordered his assassination.

Outraged by Bailey’s murder, a group of California journalists, known as The Chauncey Bailey Project, banded together to finish Bailey’s work, help bring his assassins to justice, and prove that “you can’t kill a story by killing the messenger.” Now, in KILLING THE MESSENGER: A Story of Radical Faith, Racism’s Backlash, and the Assassination of a Journalist, Thomas Peele, an award-winning investigative reporter and member of The Chauncey Bailey Project, provides the first comprehensive narrative examination of Bailey’s murder by bringing to light the astonishing series of events that led to his death.

KILLING THE MESSENGER explores the origins and history of the Black Muslim movement, the rise of Elijah Muhammad as a Muslim leader in Oakland and the separatist cult known as the Beys. Drawing from his research and the investigative reporting of The Chauncey Bailey Project, Peele weaves present-day events together with history to show how years of corruption, abuse, and propaganda resulted in one of the most shocking and gruesome attacks on a working journalist and the First Amendment in recent American history.

Books will be available for purchase.

Seating is limited – RSVP required: juliehirano@berkeley.edu | 510.642.3394


Library - North Gate Hall

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