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The Chauncey Bailey Project
September 9, 2011 3:18 PM   Subscribe

On August 2, 2007 Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was assassinated on his way to work by Your Black Muslim Bakery. The Chauncey Bailey Project collects together the many twists and turns in the stories of Bailey's murder and of the bakery itself, while continuing to investigate. KQED provides a primer on the case.

In June, the bakery leader, Yusuf Bey IV, and Antoine Mackey were convicted of first degree murder for Bailey's death. The shooter, Devaughndre Broussard, confessed shortly after the shooting and testified at the trial.

Bey IV denied involvement in the murder. He was left alone with Broussard, who then confessed to the killing and denied any involvement on the part of the bakery. The day after the assassination, Bey IV was arrested in relation to a separate matter, a kidnapping, and video from the San Leandro police department shows him discussing Bailey's murder.

Yelp reviews of the bakery (in its capacity as an actual bakery and restaurant)
Previously
posted by hoyland (19 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Black Muslims in Oakland are bad news. They even provided bodyguard services for a lecture by the Nazi sympathizer/Holocaust denier, David Irving.
posted by jonp72 at 3:30 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Insert inevitable mini-rant about what a cesspool Oakland is (by someone who left the Bay 20 years ago) here.
posted by /\/\/\/ at 3:48 PM on September 9, 2011


This post makes me wish I'd been doing my research so I could comment more profitably.

The YBMB history in Oakland is so insane and so rich that no number of links could possibly explain it all. This is both a welfare fraud of amazing scope and a huge (>100 person) conspiracy of child abuse facilitated by the various city governments over several decades of Oakland's history. Oakland has simply not existed as a civic entity long enough for this not to be a major factor in its nature and its problems.

This is not just a single organized crime ring - this is many such rings operating independently of each other and even doing battle (Bey's sons were killing each other through the late 90s and early 00s prior to the Chauncey Bailey assassination). Many, many people had to be involved for this organization to exist, and hardly anyone is stepping forward to speak now. The focus of this investigation is only a few individuals who can individually be charged and as such is only a small part of the story.
posted by doteatop at 3:53 PM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh wow. I'd forgotten about Chauncey Bailey and YBMB. That case is amazing.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:31 PM on September 9, 2011


They even provided bodyguard services for a lecture by the Nazi sympathizer/Holocaust denier, David Irving.

I tried to investigate, but I can't tell if you're talking about the Nation of Islam or Your Black Muslim Bakery, which by now have only a superficial connection. (I actually spent a bunch of time trying to figure it out, but I only found a holocaust-denying website recording a speech by Irving at a 'black-owned hall' in Oakland staffed by 'well-dress black men in bow ties'. That speech wasn't covered by the Chronicle, which didn't mention Irving's entourage when he came to Berkeley in 1994 and 1995. The address for the speech in Oakland doesn't exist anymore.)

doteatop is right that one could get many posts out of the many varied criminal enterprises of Your Black Muslim Bakery.

Many, many people had to be involved for this organization to exist, and hardly anyone is stepping forward to speak now. The focus of this investigation is only a few individuals who can individually be charged and as such is only a small part of the story.

I want to say the investigations of the abuse and welfare fraud pretty much collapsed when Yusuf Bey died, as the majority of the people actually executing the fraud were his wives, who were abused by Bey. I suspect no one is ever going to be able to sort out the crime and disappearances within the bakery.

Okay, now I will shut up with my YBMB trivia.
posted by hoyland at 4:43 PM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am just learning about this stuff so I hope this thread takes off bigtime and people that DO know things talk more about them here.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:02 PM on September 9, 2011


I don't know anything about Oakland, the bakery, etc., but did work with Skip Bailey a long time ago. He was a decent guy, a black reporter in a nearly all-white newsroom back when that was pretty much standard practice, and a guy who deserved a longer, better life.
posted by etaoin at 5:19 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chauncey Bailey was murdered one block away from where I live.

Every day, I walk by the very spot where he was shot, the crappy unkempt parking lot full of mail trucks, marked only by trash and bird crap and the street corner shadowed by a dingy tree.

I sometimes wonder if his ghost gets to see the kids at the daycare across the street, the old chinese folks doing tai chi every morning at the corner across the way, or hear the drumming from the Alice Arts Center.

But most of the time, it's an empty corner, "around the corner" from nearly anything interesting or worth seeing, and a dark, lonely spot.

Every time I pull up a homicide map of Oakland, I wonder how many other dark corners someone died, and the memorials disappeared after a couple of weeks, and now there's only trash and bird shit marking their last moments.

So, next time you hear me get vocal on a thread about violence in Oakland- that's my morning commute.
posted by yeloson at 5:33 PM on September 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


They even provided bodyguard services for a lecture by the Nazi sympathizer/Holocaust denier, David Irving.

I tried to investigate, but I can't tell if you're talking about the Nation of Islam or Your Black Muslim Bakery, which by now have only a superficial connection. (I actually spent a bunch of time trying to figure it out, but I only found a holocaust-denying website recording a speech by Irving at a 'black-owned hall' in Oakland staffed by 'well-dress black men in bow ties'. That speech wasn't covered by the Chronicle, which didn't mention Irving's entourage when he came to Berkeley in 1994 and 1995. The address for the speech in Oakland doesn't exist anymore.)


Sorry I couldn't find a link for you, but I know that Black Muslims provided bodyguard services for a David Irving speech in 1996, because I actually was there, because it was advertised in the Daily Californian at the time. This is almost certainly the "'black-owned hall' in Oakland staffed by 'well-dress black men in bow ties.'" mentioned on that Holocaust deniers' web site. I went because I wanted to do an ethnography paper for a sociological methods.

Let me just say the scene was a total clusterfuck. The speech was in an almost exclusively black neighborhood in Oakland. Black Muslims (not necessarily Nation of Islam, but possibly one of Bey's offshoots of NOI) were frisking everybody at the door. A local left-sectarian group (the International Socialist Organization, I think) was protesting outside. The Oakland police were patrolling outside. As a result, most of the black residents near where this took place were pissed off simultaneously at the Nazis, the Black Muslims, and the International Socialists or whomever for bringing this political circus and the subsequent attention from the po-po into their neighborhood.

Anyhow, now that I think about it, the guards may have been from Your Black Muslim Bakery. The reason is I distinctly remember a black guy from the neighborhood looking at the guards and shouting, "Damn, I'll never buy another bean pie from you guys as long as I live!"
posted by jonp72 at 6:17 PM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I used to buy delicious tofu burgers and vegan baked goods from them. I thought they were just some harmless eccentric offshoot of the Nation of Islam. Man, was I ever wrong. Their history of fucked-up-edness is astounding.
posted by gnutron at 8:00 PM on September 9, 2011


The holocaust-denying website actually was archiving the protest flyer, which is where I got the address. 24th and Telegraph sound about right? I did manage to find some article in the Chronicle just now explaining how when Bey split from the Nation of Islam, the bakery and the NOI split Oakland. I assume the bakery got the area around 24th and Telegraph--it's not exactly East Oakland. (I wouldn't think of it as North Oakland, which the bakery did get, but my grasp of Oakland is kind of weak. There was a bakery location at 49th and Telegraph.) So that jives with your memory of the guards being from the bakery, rather than NOI. (Or somebody else, I suppose, but I don't know that there are other Black Muslims in Oakland.)

And to think that for my 'go to some event and write about it' assignment I went to the Veterans' Day parade. Though some people I was trying to interview did tell me how I was a 'nice young man' and how wonderful it was I had come to the parade, since everyone in Berkeley was a communist.
posted by hoyland at 8:55 PM on September 9, 2011


It's supposed to be guns or butter, not guns and butter.

I used to get cinnamon buns at the bakery for my lactose-intolerant roommate, before I started noticing different "Missing" posters on the walls every visit. I googled the place, read up on Yusef Bey's history, and never went back. It's sad that this place lived up to the most paranoid fantasies of middle America.
posted by benzenedream at 10:12 PM on September 9, 2011


I used to pick up a big slice of bean pie at the YBMB cart before a flight out of Oakland International. They'd give it to me plastic-wrapped in a brown paper bag with a plastic fork and a napkin. I would forget about it in my backpack until after the hopelessly inadequate inflight meal, and then have a real treat. Someone should abstract out the bean pie aspect of the biz and open up shops called something weird like Bean Pies. Not necessarily at the airport.
posted by telstar at 11:12 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


yeloson, I live around the corner from that spot and the Bailey assassination is what prompted us to release Crimespotting.org.
posted by migurski at 11:34 PM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think doteatop said it right. Trying to understand YBMB will drive you insane. I had completely forgotten about this. Why do even care about this recent BART issue? Have I become a sheeple?
posted by chemoboy at 1:37 AM on September 10, 2011


Why do organized crime syndicates sell such tasty food?
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:49 AM on September 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The holocaust-denying website actually was archiving the protest flyer, which is where I got the address. 24th and Telegraph sound about right? I did manage to find some article in the Chronicle just now explaining how when Bey split from the Nation of Islam, the bakery and the NOI split Oakland. I assume the bakery got the area around 24th and Telegraph--it's not exactly East Oakland. (I wouldn't think of it as North Oakland, which the bakery did get, but my grasp of Oakland is kind of weak. There was a bakery location at 49th and Telegraph.) So that jives with your memory of the guards being from the bakery, rather than NOI. (Or somebody else, I suppose, but I don't know that there are other Black Muslims in Oakland.)

Yup, it was definitely on Telegraph in Oakland. I was new to Berkeley at the time, so it was easy for me to just follow Telegraph into Oakland, because you have to be living under a rock to be going to Berkeley and not know where Telegraph is. I can't remember the cross street exactly, but there was a porn store nearby.
posted by jonp72 at 6:28 AM on September 10, 2011


I will never, ever forget waiting for a flight in Oakland airport back in the late 1990s/early 2000s, when Your Black Muslim Bakery still had a kiosk for selling baked goods, and some fatuous little college girl skipped up to the two bowtie-wearing men standing at attention at the kiosk and asked in her babyish voice, "Are these cookies made with love?"

Whether she was doing that as a joke, or on a dare, or out of genuine curiosity, I will never know. But the looks on those young men's faces -- dismay followed quickly by a desperate attempt to remain polite and dignified -- has stuck with me to this day.
posted by sobell at 2:26 PM on September 10, 2011


I remember when this happened--I was living in Oakland then. Support for YBMB had been falling off precipitously for a while, since an East Bay Express piece about sexual abuse in the Bey family. I couldn't find the original, but it's also touched on here. The day after Bailey was murdered, the YBMB storefronts were extensively vandalized, and remained closed for weeks.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 4:50 PM on September 11, 2011


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