Playwright, author, journalist, activist, A. Peter Bailey, was born in Columbus, Georgia and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama. After graduating from high school, he joined the U.S. Army for three years and then attended Howard (1959-1961) University for two years. While at Howard he became an activist in the Civil Rights Movement.
From there Bailey moved to Harlem, New York City and became a founding member of the Organization of Afro-American Unity which was founded by Malcolm X in 1964 after his separation from the Nation of Islam. He was editor of the OAAU’s newsletter and was in the Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965 when Brother Malcolm was assassinated. He was a pall-bearer at his funeral.
In 1968, Bailey became a staffer with Ebony Magazine, based in Johnson Publishing Company’s New York office. As such, he automatically was assigned many of Ebony’s cultural articles published between 1968 and 1985, especially those focusing on Black Theatre. He also contributed Black Theatre articles to several other publications including Jet, Negro Digest/Black World, The New York Times, Black Literature Forum and The Black Collegian. Bailey’s position also led to his being on the Tony Awards Nominating Committee for the 1975-1976 Broadway theatre season and to being chair of the Awards Committee for the Audience Development Committee (AUDELCO) which presents annual awards for excellence in Black Theatre. Between 1965 and 1985, Bailey saw over 300 plays, 90 percent of them Black.
He is the author of Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey and Harlem: Precious Memories, Great Expectations and co-author of Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X. He has been a lecturer at 35 colleges and universities throughout the country and has taught, as an adjunct professor, communication courses at Hunter College, Virginia Commonwealth University and The University of the District of Columbia.
Mr. Bailey is the 2010 Visiting Playwright in residence in The Department of Theatre Art at Howard University. We will present a staged reading of his newest play: Malcolm, Martin, Medgar on Saturday, November 6th at 6pm in the Ira Aldridge Theatre. For more info phone: 202-806-7050
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