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Killing the Messenger: A Story of Radical Faith, Racism's Backlash, and the Assassination of a Journalist by [Peele, Thomas]
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Killing the Messenger: A Story of Radical Faith, Racism's Backlash, and the Assassination of a Journalist Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 464 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 4634 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (February 7, 2012)
  • Publication Date: February 7, 2012
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00540PB7S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,430 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Petralia VINE VOICE on March 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A black journalist, Chauncey Bailey is brutally murdered on the streets of Oakland. The man who ordered the hit is Yusuf Ali Bey IV (Fourth), head of a spin-off Black Muslim church and bakery. Why should we care? The answer comes at us in the form of an American history lesson called "Killing the Messenger: A Tale of Radical Faith, Racism's Backlash and the Killing of a Journalist."

Fourth was the twenty-year old illegitimate son of church-bakery's founder, Yusuf Bey. The elder Bey raped Fourth's mother. Over the years, he had also raped Fourth, Fourth's sisters, brothers and aunts; he was said to have somewhere between forty and fifty children, all collecting some form of welfare support. Senior Bey owned expensive cars, lived in opulence, and wielded considerable power and influence in local and state politics. Fourth became head of the sect only when elder Bey was jailed for serial rapes of Fourth's thirteen year-old-sister. Given Fourth's life story, it's not difficult to understand that Fourth might become a sociopath who exhibited many of his father's traits plus murdering at least three people including Bailey. So, what about Bey senior? What's his story? Thomas Peele's answer is complex. It includes slavery, Jim Crow, lynching, KKK, red-lining, prejudice, racism, politics, and apathy. By digging for the rest of the story, Peele creates something akin to black history primer, part requiem for the lost, and part love song to Chauncey Bailey and all journalists everywhere. Read it, and weep.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Journalist Chauncey Bailey's murder stayed on the front page of the San Francisco Bay Area newspapers from the time of his assassination until the final verdict. It was only because of the Chauncey Bailey Project, an ad hoc group of relentless dedicated reporters, and their supporters, that justice was served in this case. We are fortunate to have one of the members of the Chauncey Bailey Project, Thomas Peele, write this excellent book that will probably be the final chapter in this story. KILLING THE MESSENGER will no doubt become a Bay Area best seller. It should. It is our history. There are lessons here for all communities to learn from. What happened in Oakland could happen anywhere.

I haven't finished the book yet but I can attest to it being a page-turner. There is one point, however, on which I take issue with the author, Thomas Peele. On page 35 he characterizes the City of Richmond "as one of the most hopeless and violent cities in America." I'm baffled as to how Mr. Peele, being a member of the Bay Area News Group, could make such a distorted and derogatory statement. Richmond residents began turning our City around several years ago. We certainly don't deserve this mean spirited, backhanded portrayal of our city. In fact, I would encourage Mr. Peele to write another book about how Richmond residents, with little or no funding but with popular dedication to a new vision for our city, have stood up to corrupt politicians and the Chevron Corporation, defeated a proposed multimillion dollar Indian casino, reduced the murder rate, transforming our community to the point where it has been chosen to be the home of a huge Federal research lab.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By GUY D'ASTOLFO

In "Killing the Messenger: A Tale of Radical Faith, Racism's Backlash and the Killing of a Journalist," author Thomas Peele starts with a murder and digs around it until he has uncovered the history of the Black Muslim movement in America.
With a sense of immediacy and a descriptive eye, Peele unearths a story of America that only cracked the surface when a journalist was gunned down on an Oakland, Calif., street in 2007.
As an investigative reporter for a newspaper in the East Bay area that surrounds Oakland, the slaying of Chauncey Bailey by members of the Black Muslim cult was right in Peele's wheelhouse. The author hit it out of the park.
"Killing the Messenger" puts the reader into the inner sanctum of Your Black Muslim Bakery, a North Oakland institution run by Yusuf Ali Bey, and after his death, his son Yusuf Ali Bey IV. The author recreates conversations that would have shocked those outside its walls.
Both Beys lived as gods in their compounds, preaching hatred for whites and black self-sufficiency. They surrounded themselves with "soldiers," culled from the ghetto streets and mostly ex-cons, who would kill or die for him. Women were kept as sex slaves, sworn to submissiveness.
The sadistic elder Bey raped women and children at will in his compound while his fearful minions looked the other way. Murder, government fraud and a host of other illicit activities were also overseen by Bey and later, his son.
"Killing the Messenger" starts with the cold-blooded murder of Chauncey Bailey, a reporter for a black newspaper in Oakland who was writing an expose on the Bey cult. After laying the historical groundwork, the book then barrels back toward its starting point.
As the title suggests, Peele takes pains to illustrate how racial oppression gave rise to the radical pseudo-religion. Later in the book, he uncovers the shoddy inner workings of Oakland City Hall and its undermanned police force.
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