Peter Bailey is an award winning author, producer and journalist originally from the Virgin Islands. This Florida resident has written for the Miami Herald, Time Magazine, Village Voice and Newsweek. Bailey has also produced his hit show NiteCap with Peter Bailey on the CW and NBC.
In 2010 Bailey collaborated with Florida based rapper Trick Daddy, to write his first book “Magic City: Trails of a Native Son.” The book was published by MTV Publishing/Gallery Books and focused on Trick Daddy’s poverty-stricken upbringing.
Bailey also stepped into the acting arena, with his role as Leo Edwards in the independent film The North Star. The North Star is a true story based on slavery and the Underground Railroad.
AU: Some people refer to you as an award winning author and journalist, tell us about some of those awards and what they mean to you.
PB: I have received several awards and they are all so special to me, for many reasons. Some of the awards include the National Association of Black Journalist Award for Enterprise, Society of Professional Journalism Award and Education and the Associate Press Editor Award.
My exposé “Shackled Education,” won the the National Association of Black Journalist Award for Enterprise Reporting. “Shackled Education,” was very dear to me, because it focused on the education of children behind bars, who were disproportionately black.
The exposé helped to bring funding and reform to the program.
My series about how autistic children function in the classroom, received the Society of Professional Journalism Award and Education award.
AU: What did you see behind those bars, when you were doing your exposé “Shackled Education” and what were the ages of those children?
PB: I saw educators doing their best with what they had.
I saw a generation of our black youth being thrown away.
I believe the ages of the children were between 15 and 17 years-old.
AU: Why did you become a journalist?
PB: I grew up in the inner city urban reality of the Virgin Islands and I did not like what I saw.
When I was growing up, I knew I was special but I was born in the wrong world. I wanted to go places and do certain things, which the world around me could not understand. I felt trapped.
My father was a minister, my mom was a nurse and journalism provided me with a voice, which I felt like I did not have.
Writing became therapeutic and the pen was my gun.
AU: One of your slogans is “Standing Tall. I’ve always had to.” So dealing with your father and his battle with Alzheimer’s, are you able to stand tall?
PB: The problem with the world is, everyone is on social media pretending to have it all together and that is not the case.
My father is my idol, so to see him dealing with Alzheimer’s totally affected me.
I have not been able to stand tall, I have to take it day by day.
AU: Throughout your career you have had the opportunity to interview a lot of people from Bill Clinton, Mark Bloomberg and Russell Simmons. Tells us about some of your other powerful interviews.
PB: Interviewing Don Peebles the world’s richest black developers, was a great interview. We discussed how the urban youth are consistently being pushed into sports and entertainment. We also spoke about, how our youth are under the impression they have to become a drug dealer like Jay Z, in order to make it in the music industry.
Our kids are influenced by the most ridiculously destructive path.
For example, the television series Empire is walking coonery. Let’s paint a picture, Empire’s Lucious Lyons is a former drug dealer, who is a killer and a successful CEO in the music industry.
Why are we not seeing images of the Harvard nerd being successful?
We also discussed challenging the black educated class to stop being weak clowns and identify other alternative ways, to show our kids how to become successful.
Another great conversation was with rapper Lil Boosie, which has led college professors to teach their class based on our conversation.
The conversation became explosive when Lil Boosie made the statement, “African Americans are in the worst shape.”
Boosie did explain what he meant by that comment, but it became distorted.
My conversation with Waka Flocka another hip hop artist, was also impactful.
AU: Tells us about NiteCap.
PB: NiteCap is where I turn my conversations with governing officials, artists or whomever into a community live experience.
It’s about connecting with the people and community involvement.
The goal of NiteCap is to come up with solutions, to help move our people forward.
AU: What is your ultimate vision?
PB: My vision is to lay a blueprint to NiteCap and my body of work to give the community a road map, to being the true essence of what they are suppose to be.
Also to provide an educational platform, to where our generation know how to live a positive and productive life.
AU: Who is Peter Bailey?
PB: Peter Bailey is a man. He is a protector, provider, teacher and he is responsible.
A man is not someone on Instagram showing off his show game, he is a leader who empowers.
Instagram & Twitter: Iampeterbailey