OAKLAND — Associates, household and former colleagues of slain native journalist Chauncey Bailey held again feelings as they unveiled the Oakland avenue signal that now bears his title and marks the positioning of his 2007 homicide.
The half-mile stretch of 14th Avenue between Lakeside Drive and Broadway will now be often known as Chauncey Bailey Method. As former colleague Paul Cobb recalled at a ceremony Saturday, the trail is important to Bailey’s life for quite a lot of causes.
Bailey would stroll down 14th Avenue to get to his workplace on the Oakland Submit, the place he served as editor-in-chief. Often, he would cease to purchase espresso for homeless residents alongside the best way. The road additionally leads all the way down to Oakland Metropolis Corridor, the place Bailey spent many afternoons as a prolific native journalist with a deal with crime and policing.
Extra infamously, nonetheless, the road is the place Bailey was gunned down on Aug. 2, 2007. A jury later convicted Yusuf Bey, the chief of the Your Black Muslim Bakery and a topic of Bailey’s investigative reporting, of ordering the journalist’s assassination.
The road renaming was launched as a decision by then-Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney in 2020 and authorised unanimously by the Metropolis Council.
Throughout a somber ceremony Saturday, Bailey’s former associates remembered him as a steadfast newsman, a champion of the First Modification and a resonant voice within the metropolis’s Black neighborhood and press protection.
“It actually shook me in a giant approach,” stated Cobb, the present writer of the Oakland Submit, Northern California’s largest Black newspaper, of Bailey’s dying. “I regarded out of our window; I might see him laying on the bottom. It was a surreal expertise.”
Bailey studied journalism at Merritt Faculty in Oakland after which San Jose State College. He labored at Black newspapers the Oakland Submit and San Francisco’s Solar Reporter, then went to the Detroit Information, Hartford Courant and United Press Worldwide earlier than returning to Oakland to work on the Oakland Tribune for a lot of the Nineties and early 2000s.
Cobb famous how Bailey’s reporting usually scrutinized the Oakland Police Division, asking questions of legislation enforcement that others on the time wouldn’t. Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan recalled how Bailey approached reviews of crime with skepticism.
“Many instances, Chauncey and I’d speak in regards to the ridiculousness of issues that acquired coated up and wanted to be advised,” Kaplan stated on the ceremony. “He was at all times prepared to talk out when one thing didn’t make sense.”
Thomas Peele pointed to each Bailey’s life and dying as symbols of the free press’ significance. Bailey believed within the significance of informing his neighborhood, even handing out newspapers free of charge on buses whereas a reporter on the Detroit Information, Peele stated.
“It was tragic and completely mindless — Chauncey’s assassination was a direct and brutal assault on our First Modification rights and freedoms,” stated Peele, now a reporter for EdSource who labored prominently on the Chauncey Bailey undertaking, a reporting collaborative that investigated Bailey’s dying. “He’s a martyr for all of us, and it makes the respect that was bestowed upon his reminiscence and his household at the moment very clear.”
Bailey’s legacy has lived on in his son, Chauncey Steven Bailey Jr., who spoke about his personal training in racial justice and a protracted historical past of Black journalism — a journey impressed by his father.
“He wished us to hold a way of satisfaction, and valued the concept day-after-day, if we might simply survive, stay, develop and protect our tradition, that we’re creating Black historical past,” Bailey Jr. son stated.
Workers author Annie Sciacca contributed reporting.