Interview with Herbert X. Blyden

Brother Herb, I want you to tell me again what happened after that yard was retaken with the state troopers and the guards, what did they do to, to, to you and the other inmates?


When the state troopers and the guards came in upon the immediate retaking of the yard, September 13th, ah, certain inmates were singled out for special treatment. The majority of those for special treatment were Xed on their back with chalk, as they were made to lie in the mud naked. I think there were 15 or 20 from the immediate negotiating table of which, of whom I was one. We were then removed to run a gauntlet to A block housing unit which is "the box." That's what they call it, "the box," where you're segregated from the rest of the population. But in proceeding along the gauntlet route we saw several of the other brothers, ah, who were still alive, singled out for special treatment, who never did show up in our housing unit. Upon entering the cells, where they had selected for us, we were made to stay in those cells, in the nude, ah, with no running water and for three days we were constantly abused, physically slapped around, not, ah truncheon beatings, not like the gauntlet, but the guards would open the cells at random. Two and three of them would go into the cells at night and punch a guy around, or slap him around, or kick him around. And for three days they would bring the food up to your cells, cereal, milk, cornflake, coffee, and tell you straight up, that "I wouldn't eat this if I was you, we did, whatever in it." You know, so for three days the men were not eating in those cells, even though there were food readily available. But the guards would, in some cases, physically spit in the food and show you he's spitting in it, and then pass it through the bars to you. So, those of us who knew how to fast, I guess, had to fast for three days.


Let's cut.