Marvin X, aka El Muhajir, photo circa 1972
In 1970, after being banned from teaching from Fresno State University and convicted of refusing to go to Vietnam, Marvin X went into his second self-imposed exile from America, he traveled to Mexico City and later to British Honduras, now Belize. There he met a group of brothers that included Evan X Hyde, one of the few Central American Africans who had graduated from college. The brothers were preaching Black Power and were consequently on trial for sedition. Marvin X reported on the trial for Muhammad Speaks newspaper, and for his association with the brothers was ultimately deported. He and his wife, Barbara Hall, a student from Fresno State University who was pregnant with their first daughter Nefertiti, lived on an island called Gales Point, five hours through the jungle by boat (see the film Mosquito Coast).
After being asked to teach the locals about black power, a drunk man came by their hut singing "Boy day com in ta git ya in da morning. Ya been down here teaching dat black power, day comin ta git ya in da morning." Sure enough after Marvin boarded a boat back to the city for food supplies, he noticed a man on board with a 22 caliber rifle. The man said nothing but Marvin was de facto under arrest. When the boat arrived in town, Marvin went to the apartment of Evan X. Hyde. No one was there but the door was unlocked so he went in but soon heard his named being called from outside, telling him to come out. After thoughts of having a Black Panther style shoot-out--there was 22 caliber rifle in the house, Marvin decided to surrender.
He was first taken to the Ministry of Home Affairs. After a few cordial words, the Minister read his deportation order: Your presence is not beneficial to the welfare of the British Colony of Honduras, therefore you shall be deported to the United States of America. You shall be placed aboard a plane leaving for Miami at 4pm. Until then you shall be placed under arrest.
At the police station he was told to have a seat, not placed in a cell nor was he handcuffed. Soon he was surrounded by Black police officers and then one officer told him, "Brother, teach us about Black Power!" Almost in shock at the request, Marvin told them, "Brothers, Marcus Garvey came here in 1923 and told you to get the white woman (Queen of England) off your walls. It's 1970 and you still got that bitch on your walls--get that bitch off!" The police cracked up and told him, "You all ite, border, you all ite! See dat brother officer (one who avoided joining the circle of police around him): he black mon wit white heart, black mon wit white heart! We don't know why they kicking you out and you come down here teaching us. They don't kick out the white hippies who come down here smoking weed."
Near 4pm Marvin was taken to the airport and after a brief scuffle over not being able to have his wife leave with him, was literally thrown aboard the plane. The plane made a brief stop in Tegucigalpa, Spanish Honduras. Marvin was allowed off the plane but when he asked for asylum, a soldier at the airport (dressed in green army uniforms USA style--Spanish Honduras was/is an USA military base) took his request but returned shortly with the answer: Nigguh, get yo ass back on the plane! He was marched back on the plane.
When the plane landed in Miami, two Federal Marshalls greeted Marvin X and escorted him to Dade County Jail, a bottomless pit of ignut Negroes who informed him they were not his brother, so he said nothing else to them. After a week or so he was transferred to Miami City Jail and placed in a cell with white Cuban dope dealers who welcomed him with open arms. They said, "Brother, how are you, Brother? What do you need--just tell us if you need anything, food, money, whatever. We are sending out to a restaurant for dinner. What would you like?" After being out of the USA for several months, Marvin told them to get him a vanilla milkshake, hamburger and fries. They gave him money to make a long distance call to his wife who by that time had arrived back in Fresno.
Marvin X was eventually returned to San Francisco and although he beat the draft case on a technicality, the Judge said, "Mr. Jackmon, we've spent a lot of time and money looking for you, nearly five years, so we'll charge you with fleeing to avoid prosecution. How much time would you like?
Marvin had just read his court speech that made the judge drop his head (see the Black Scholar Magazine, circa 1970 on the Black Prisoner). "I'll take five months, " so he was sentenced to five months at Terminal Island Federal Prison, San Pedro, CA. Shortly after his release in December, 1970, he was blessed with his first daughter, Nefertiti, born January, 1971. In 1972 he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and traveled again to Mexico, Trinidad and Guyana, South America. In Guyana he interviewed the Black Power Prime Minister, Fobes Burnham (see Black Scholar Magazine--we later learned Burnham was used by the CIA to prevent the opposition leader, Cheddi Jeagan, from establishing another Communist government in the Americas--Cuba was enough!).
Reply to Evan X. Hyde
Evan X. Hyde, I can never forget you and have thought of you often through the years, especially when retelling the story of my deportation from Belize. How are you and all the brothers and sisters in Belize, especially Ishmael Shabazz--is he still on this side of Paradise? Are you in Belize--did you become the Prime Minister? Is your paper online?
If you haven't already, check out my blog www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com.
Peace and love,
29 May 2013 (b day)
Reply from Evan X. Hyde
Salaams, Brother Marvin,
I'm happy you responded so quickly. So good to hear from you. You
were here during very rough times for me and for us, Marvin. I'm sorry
I could not have provided better facilities for you. They just grabbed
you, and that was that. We never saw you again. Can you travel? We
would like to host you some time, at least for a few days.
Shabazz is experiencing problems with diabetes and glaucoma, but
his spirit is still very strong. I will tell him we communicated.
Amandala is now the leading newspaper in Belize, and we have a
radio and a television station. Our newspaper website is
A few weeks ago, Minister Farrakhan visited Belize, and his visit
was very good for us in Belize.
Like yourself, Marvin, I never wanted to become involved in
politics, just wanted to write. After 1977 I gave up creative writing
and just concentrated on the newspaper. I made up with my wife in
1977, and became somewhat respectable.
Blessings upon you and yours, and make sure to keep in touch. I
will check out the blog.
--- On Tue, 5/28/13, evan x hyde