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On August 2, 2007, in Oakland, California, a journalist was murdered as he walked to his downtown newsroom. The next morning, more than 200 police launched a pre-dawn raid on Your Black Muslim Bakery, a long-standing business and religious organization in the city. They suspected some members of the group to be involved in the killing.
Chauncey Bailey's murder quickly became the most high-profile killing of an American journalist in more than 30 years. He was looking into the bakery's financial troubles and was writing a series of stories for the c, the city's largest African-American weekly, when he was gunned down on the streets of Oakland. Bailey's byline appeared on many articles about the bakery over the years. But now, his name and that of Your Black Muslim Bakery are forever linked in the city's history.
A Day Late in Oakland is the story of two men and their visions for Oakland's African-American community. Bailey sought to bring attention to and raise awareness in the black community through the press. Yusuf Bey, Your Black Muslim Bakery's founder, was a charismatic community leader who preached a doctrine of empowerment and self-sufficiency. Mixing interviews with archival footage, photographs, news clippings, and public documents, the film follows their lives and the evolution of the bakery, from their common roots, to their troubling intersection.
A Day Late in Oakland is not a story of an investigation or hunt for a suspect. Rather, it's a look at layers of history, racism, politics, and power. It's a search for understanding how a murder like Bailey's can happen in 21st century America in the first place.