D’Army Bailey, Civil Rights Activist and Founder of National Civil Rights Museum, 73

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D’Army Bailey, a civil rights activist, judge, attorney, author and actor who founded the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, has died.

 

He served on the Berkeley City Council from 1971 until 1973.

 

Bailey led the fight to preserve the crumbling Lorraine Motel, where King was slain while standing on a balcony on 4 April 1968.

 

King had stayed at the hotel while marching and making speeches on behalf of striking sanitation workers who were protesting

against low wages and unsafe working conditions.

 

Bailey assembled donors to buy the hotel, which ultimately became the National Civil Rights Museum in 1991. The museum has since been extensively renovated.

 

Bailey also had small acting roles in several films, including The People vs. Larry Flynt and How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

 

Former US congressman Harold Ford Sr called Bailey an “unwavering advocate for justice”.

 

“Our community was made better by his years of service, his stunning intellect and a deep appreciation for the rule of law,” he said. “We should all be thankful for his tireless efforts and leadership.”

 

Bailey received his law degree from Yale and practised civil rights law in New York before moving to California. He wrote “The Education of a Black Radical: A Southern Civil Rights Activist’s Journey, 1959-1964” and “Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s Final Journey.”

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