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Karina Marie Ash

Donald Backman

Jun Kurihara

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Andrew Oetzel

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Rigoberta through the Eyes of Malcolm

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Andrew Oetzel

On the second floor of the Student Union at San Francisco State University is the recently remodeled Rigoberta Menchú room, which— if it had windows on the east side— would look out over Malcolm X Plaza. The university holds meetings and banquets in Rigoberta's room; fittingly Malcolm X Plaza is the preferred venue for student protests of all sorts. During the last week of class before finals, I paid a visit to the Rigoberta Menchú Room, which, when not a venue for a meeting or banquet, is used by students as a casual study area. I asked five separate students who were studying there if they knew who Rigoberta Menchú was. All five either had no idea or incorrectly guessed that she had been a professor at San Francisco State at some point. They all knew who Malcolm X was and several of them were a bit insulted that I would think they might not.

How does one then teach students about Rigoberta Menchú— why she is important enough to have a room named after her, be painted in prominence on the mural on the side of the San Francisco Women's Building, and have won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992? The answer is found by looking out the imaginary windows east to Malcolm X plaza. The most obvious way for any university student to come into contact with either Malcolm X (whom I shall hereafter refer to as Al-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz,1 the name he eventually chose for himself) or Rigoberta Menchú— beyond reading their names on a map or floor plan— is to have one or both of their autobiographies assigned in class. The goal of my argument is to show that the best method is to teach them together. Teaching them in tandem would achieve three specific goals:

  1. To move beyond the surface understanding of the struggle for black civil rights in the United States that most freshmen will have garnered from their high school history courses.
  2. To introduce students to the similar struggles for human rights of indigenous peoples in Central America.
  3. Finally, to "internationalize" the students' understanding of the struggle for blacks in America— by showing these connections and the similar roots of the black and indigenous people's struggles.
Working first with Al-Shabazz's well-known autobiography will introduce students to the form and function of testimonial/political autobiography before moving them on to the less accessible Menchú text.2

Before tackling the narratives and the lessons to be learned from their stories, it is important to place both texts in their proper historical and literary contexts. As stated above, most American students should have some knowledge of the historical context for The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala, however, requires much more historical context. Providing this context for both works would be required for teaching them, though space constraints prevent me from examining how to do that in detail.3 What I will examine here are the literary contexts of both works and how this relates to teaching them.

The Roots4 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The Autobiography of Malcolm X was written in collaboration with Alex Haley. Haley and Al-Shabazz went over each part and approved each chapter (except the epilogue, which was written solely by Haley after Al-Shabazz's death). The text is a descendant of two great American literary traditions: the autobiography of a great individual, as in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, and the slave narrative, most famously associated with Frederick Douglass. As a narrative extolling the American tradition of individualism, The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the story of one man's climb to the top—from proverbial rags to proverbial riches. In Al-Shabazz's case, however, the riches are more spiritual than material. Al-Shabazz depicts himself arriving as a bumpkin in Boston, becoming an urban hipster and, finally, developing into a prominent civil rights activist and preacher. This transition is reminiscent of the typical American story of the "move from ignorance to enlightenment, from obscurity to worldly prominence" made famous by Franklin's autobiography (Ohmann 133). Perhaps the most telling similarity between the two is their foregrounding of action and individualism: they were both men who got things done. It was important for Al-Shabazz to portray himself in that way, both to combat the notion among whites of the lazy and unresourceful black man, as well as to provide an example to blacks of what they really can do. I do not think Al-Shabazz was conscious of the connections to Franklin's work, but the trope used in both works is an innately American one, be it black or white.

The goal of American slave narratives was to expose to the world (most specifically the white reading public in the North) the horrors and degradations of slavery.5 In a similar vein, The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a story of overcoming the Jim Crow/racist machine that imprisons blacks in 20th Century America. Al-Shabazz passed through the ghetto and the criminal justice system of America, educated himself, and then told his life story to graphically illustrate how racism devastatingly affects black men. Like the Franklin aspects above, the slave narrative aspects have a dual audience. It was important for Al-Shabazz to show to blacks that he had been on the mean streets, did hard time, and overcame it all. He wears this fact as a point of pride throughout the book, especially to differentiate himself from black middle class intellectuals, whom he openly despised. A telling exchange occurs on a street corner in Harlem, as Al-Shabazz stands chatting with "one of those downtown 'leaders'" (his term for black intellectual activists) after a rally, when a hustler speaks to both of them in street language which the "downtown 'leader'" is unable to understand; Al-Shabazz is only too happy to translate (Haley/X 358). In contrast, he wanted to show to whites just what their society did to intelligent and capable black men—how in fact their waiters, shoeshine boys, and train porters, not to mention their drug dealers and pimps, were not happy with their lot and knew they were capable of better.

The Testimonio of I, Rigoberta Menchú

I, Rigoberta Menchú: an Indian Woman in Guatemala is also a collaborative effort, but less directly so. Menchú spent a week being interviewed on tape at the home of Elisabeth Burgos-Debray, a Venezuelan anthropologist living in Paris. The tapes were then transcribed, and Burgos-Debray edited and arranged the resulting text in book form. Burgos-Debray wrote the introduction, the prologue, and a glossary for Guatemalan terms for the book. She also chose the epigraphs which begin each chapter, taken from the Popul Vuh,6 Miguel Angel Asturias, the Bible, and other parts of Menchú's text. Apart from their week together, Menchú had no further input into the creation of her testimonio.

I use the Spanish word testimonio to refer to the specific literary/non-fiction genre to which her text belongs. There are many specific definitions for the genre; I will paraphrase and unite several offered in Literature and Resistance in Guatemala, by Marc Zimmerman. Testimonio is a first-person narrative from Latin America, which narrates specific events that occurred to that person. Implicit, as well, in testimonio is that it is representative of the people as a whole—the overall experiences of many, seen through the eyes of one. As the English word translation, "testimony," would imply, it is also meant to bear witness to these events outside of the country or geographic area in which they occurred (Zimmerman 13-4). Menchú's text is without a doubt a testimonio. She very much wanted the world to know what was happening to Indians in Guatemala and who was perpetrating the atrocities. Indeed, her entire purpose in life at that point was to tell the world of her people's plight.

But Menchú's text is not just a testimonio. Like The Autobiography of Malcolm X, her text is hybrid. Menchú and Burgos-Debray7 devoted many chapters to describing her way of life as an Indian in Guatemala through birth and death rituals, marriage rights, familial relations, etc. These aspects of the text can be read as what Mary Louis Pratt calls autoethnography, which she defines as "any attempt on the part of a marginal or subordinated group to represent itself and its lifeways to the center or dominant group, usually through a partial appropriation (transculturation) of the dominant group's own idioms" (67). These parts of the text are related in a very anthropological style, not as specific examples, but as how they do things in general. Indeed, during the description of the wedding ceremonies, she gave a real world aside: "In my sister's case, after the second ritual we all had to go down to the finca.8 [. . . S]o it was five months later that we celebrated the third ritual" (Menchú 70). Burgos-Debray and Menchú included this information to establish to the unknowing world just who these Indians were. Showing the ancient roots of the Indian culture in Guatemala situates their struggle as ongoing since the beginnings of European colonization in the Americas. But, as in Al-Shabazz, this information might have also been included for a Guatemalan audience— proving that she really is an Indian, she was really there and that this text is not just coming from the imagination of a European with political motivation.

From Autobiography to Testimonio, Slave Narrative to Autoethnography

Now that I have traced the roots/genres of these texts separately, I will show how placing them together can lead to a better understanding of them both and how drawing lines connecting their motivations will help understand both Al-Shabazz's and Menchú's lives as part of a worldwide struggle. Placing Menchú next to Al-Shabazz is a good way to explain why Menchú's testimonio has floated to the top of many other examples of the genre. Behind the "one speaks for many" form of testimonio of I Rigoberta Menchú is the story of an extraordinary individual (a woman nonetheless), who went from poverty and anonymity to being a world-renowned activist for Indigenous rights— winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Like Al-Shabazz, she risked her life to speak up and fight for her rights and now gives her individual story as inspiration to us all. Her testimonio (indeed, testimonios in general) have much in common with the slave narrative genre. As stated above, slave narratives were aimed at a Northern reading public in the same way Menchú's testimonio is aimed at a North American and European reading audience. Both Menchú and Al-Shabazz want us to know who they are and what they have lived through, with the hope that we will react and make improvements to our society and ourselves. It should make sense to the students why Al-Shabazz is addressing a North American audience. When students realize that Menchú is aiming for the same audience, they will begin to understand where the support (and the source of oppression) is really located and that the same neocolonial North American society that devalues blacks in its midst also devalues Indians who pick its cotton and coffee in Central America.

Different Lives/Same Story

Both Menchú and Al-Shabazz detail in their stories their gradual coming to political awareness and subsequent taking of action. Along the way, they focus on certain events which they felt had profound effects on their lives. It would be useful to juxtapose some of these highlighted events from both texts to show similarities in both the apparatus of oppression as well as the methods used to combat it.

Childhood— First Contact with Oppression

Al-Shabazz was born as Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925. His first memories involve his family being chased from city to city in the Midwest by Klansmen. The Autobiography tells how his family is singled out because his father is preaching black pride and self-reliance as part of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association.9 The Klan in Lansing, Michigan kills Al-Shabazz's father, which devastates his mother, who is eventually committed to a mental sanitarium. The state splits up Al-Shabazz and his siblings into separate foster homes; Al-Shabazz winds up in an all-white school, where he excels scholastically and, remarkably, is elected seventh grade class president. When a teacher asks him what his long-term career goals are, Al-Shabazz replies that he wants to be a lawyer. His teacher's reply is: "[Y]ou've got to be realistic about being a nigger. A lawyer— that's no realistic goal for a nigger" (Haley/X 43). His teacher recommends carpentry as a much better career choice. From his birth, Al-Shabazz's life has been shaped by racism and oppression. His family is broken up and destroyed by institutionalized racism. Later, on his own, he excels in an all white school, only to learn that academic excellence is less important than the color of his skin. His teacher's statement has a profound effect on young Al-Shabazz, so much so that he recounts it word-for-word thirty years afterward.

Menchú does not provide an exact date of birth. Her first memories are both of idyllic village life in the Altiplano10 and of trips to the fincas, where the Indians are treated brutally and paid little. She and her parents are forced to make the trip to work there because the farmland they work in their village is poor and they need the extra money earned on the fincas to live. Menchú explains how, over time Indians in Guatemala have been slowly forced onto less and less productive land to make room for the ever growing privately owned fincas. A pivotal point in her childhood comes when she watches her brother die of starvation at the finca. She and her mother are kicked out because they cannot pay to bury her brother. Back in her home in the Altiplano, she reacts to her brother's death in the following passage:

From that moment, I was both angry with life and afraid of it, because I told myself: "This is the life I will lead too; having many children, and having them die." It's not easy for a mother to watch her child die, and have nothing to cure him with or help him live. Those fifteen days working in the finca was one of my earliest experiences and I remember it with enormous hatred. That hatred has stayed with me until today. (Menchú 41)

Both Menchú and Al-Shabazz focus on specific life-changing events in their childhoods to underline how oppression shaped their lives from birth. They have had their childhoods taken from them by racism and oppression. The rules of the racist world are shown to them as children and the vivid memories of these lessons have carried into their adult lives. And important thread connecting their childhoods is how they both refute the notion that hard work will bring success. Al-Shabazz is the top of his class, but can only expect to be a carpenter. Menchú and her family work extremely hard both in the village and on the fincas, yet her brother still dies of starvation. This shows how, in racist societies, race or ethnicity trumps aptitude or hard work on the ladder of success, or even in terms of survival.

Assimilation/Working for The Man

After his run-in with his teacher, Al-Shabazz leaves Michigan to live with his half-sister in Boston; later, he relocates on his own to Harlem. In Boston and Harlem, Al-Shabazz settles down into the all-black world of the urban ghetto. He works a series of jobs that were open to black men, i.e. shoeshiner, waiter, and train porter, finally graduating to drug dealer and street thug. Throughout his description of this period of his life, he repeats the fact that there is no moving up from these positions. Even the middle class blacks who live in the nicer section of Boston's ghetto, Beacon Hill, and who put on airs are in reality working menial jobs. Al-Shabazz states:

I'd guess that eight out of ten of the Hill Negroes [. . .] despite the impressive-sounding job titles they affected, actually worked as menials and servants. "He's in banking," or "He's in securities." It sounded as though they were discussing a Rockefeller or a Mellon— and not some gray-headed, dignity-posturing bank janitor, or bond-house messenger. (Haley/X 49)
In fact, the only way to truly increase his pay and achieve some modicum of success is to turn to crime. Al-Shabazz sells drugs and procures prostitutes, eventually turning to burglary. Al-Shabazz shows us that there were few choices for blacks— menial work, with a bitter salve of self-delusion, or crime.

Menchú continues moving from village to finca with her parents until she is around twelve. After this, Menchú decides to learn Spanish to try to break out of the village and finca system imposed by the state, leaving her home and getting a job as a maid in the capital. As an Indian maid, Menchú learns that she is lower than the family dog, noticing the meat and rice in the dog's dish compared to her dried tortillas and beans. The final straw comes at Christmastime. After working very hard to prepare food for a large party, her mistress gives her one Christmas tamal out of the hundreds they made. When a guest arrives late, however, even that tamal is taken from Menchú. While serving the tamales she could not even eat, Menchú overhears the Christmas partygoers discussing Indians: "Indians are lazy, they don't work, that's why they're poor. They're always making trouble because they won't work" (Menchú 99). She returns to her village shortly after Christmas. Her experience as a maid teaches her that assimilation is impossible; even if she learns Spanish, she would still be despised because she is an Indian. Menchú's experience here really speaks for itself. Her choices as an Indian woman in Guatemala are: brutal work for little pay on plantations with her family or treatment worse than the family dog as a maid all alone in the city. Beyond menial labor, there is little for an oppressed group to achieve in a racist Western society.

Al-Shabazz and Menchú embark on the path of assimilation, trying to fit in better with the mainstream, only to find that mainstream society only wants them to serve drinks, fix dinner or sell drugs. Their individual merits or abilities are not important; they are only there to do the dirty work. In addition, the very people for whom they are working despise them. Al-Shabazz chooses a life of crime rather than live a life of self-denial, for instance, working as a waiter but calling himself a restaurateur. Menchú chooses to return to live with her family and face the brutality of the fincas rather than be lower than the dog in the social order of the city. It is not just the low wages, but the humiliation and degradation that accompany positions open to them that force them both to look for another way to live.

Liberation Theology/Political Awareness

Al-Shabazz's career as a criminal ends when he is caught and sent to prison for burglary. He receives a very long sentence for a first time offender, while his white female accomplices receive lenient sentences. While in prison, his brother tells him of a religion for blacks in America, the Nation of Islam, founded by Elijah Mohammad in the 1930s. It is a distinctly African-American sect of Islam, most notable for its call for strict segregation of the races and its claim that whites are intrinsically devils— created millennia ago by an evil scientist from the original humans, blacks. He converts and begins a course of self-education. He not only reads the words of Elijah Mohammad but also devours all the works of philosophy and history available in the prison library. His self-education about the sordid history of western civilization reinforces the idea of the "white devil." Al-Shabazz emerges from prison fully politicized and ready to seek converts for the Nation of Islam and to speak frankly about the situation of blacks in the United States. Throughout this section of the narrative, he thanks Mohammad extensively and credits him for essentially saving his life. Al-Shabazz originally dedicated his autobiography to Mohammad,11 which means that his prison conversion was most likely meant to be the turning point of his book. Without a doubt, Mohammad's anti-white prejudice and puritanical self-help theology strikes a chord with Al-Shabazz. Despite a skewed worldview, the Nation of Islam is, indeed, a type of liberation theology— religion used to uplift and politicize oppressed groups— but one that, as we shall see, Al-Shabazz eventually outgrows.

Menchú returns from her time as a maid to her village only to find that it has begun to come under attack from landowners who covet the village's lands. Seeing her family and village forced to defend themselves against soldiers with guns, Menchú becomes aware of the life and death struggle that they have to fight. She and her family join a political organization called the CUC (Comité de Unidad Campesina, or the United Peasant Committee). As Menchú begins to travel and organize among other Indian groups, she describes the Bible as the main text they use to raise political consciousness and gain recruits. In the biblical stories of Judith, Moses, and David they find the inspiration to work for change in their own country. This is another form of liberation theology: using familiar biblical tropes to debunk the "accept your fate" and "redemption in suffering" teachings of Catholicism and radicalize poor Indians.

Both Menchú and Al-Shabazz come to political awareness through religion. The Nation of Islam (for Al-Shabazz) and liberation theology of Christianity (for Menchú) emphasize self-help and political action. One can see connections between these very different religions when examined together. The Nation of Islam12 was a hybrid of Islamic beliefs mapped onto very American racial theories. It was effective because it seemed to link blacks back to the religion of Islam practiced by some of their ancestors and because it explained present day racism in mythic terms. Christianity among the Indians in Guatemala was already a syncretic form of Catholicism, thus linked to their ancestors; by using the Bible and professing Christianity, the CUC was able to overcome fears of atheist communism instilled by Catholic priests throughout the Indian community. Another common thread in both of these theologies is the appeal to tribalism. For the Nation of Islam, it was blacks versus the "evil by nature" whites; and the biblical stories chosen by Menchú and the CUC were Old Testament, tribal Hebrews versus their oppressors. Though neither text discusses the dangers of religious tribalism, it would be important to discuss examples in today's world with students, the most obvious being the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Epiphany/Joining the Wider Struggle

As intimated above, Al-Shabazz eventually breaks with the Nation of Islam but not before rising to the top, second only to the founder Mohammad. Things begin to sour with the Nation of Islam once Al-Shabazz discovers that his beloved mentor Mohammad has fathered several children out of wedlock with his secretaries. Shortly after confronting Mohammad in private about his transgressions, Al-Shabazz is suspended and eventually thrown out of the Nation of Islam. Shortly after this rupture Al-Shabazz obtains a loan from his sister Ella to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, or the Hajj. In Mecca, Al-Shabazz undergoes another conversion/transformation. He writes:

Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and the overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this Ancient Holy Land [. . .]. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors. [. . .] America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. (Haley/X 390-1)
Returning to the United States a changed man, he starts a campaign to preach universal brotherhood and the Orthodox Islam he learned in Mecca. This is by far the most moving part of Al-Shabazz's life story, and, unlike his partial conversion in prison, this marks his coming to full political consciousness. Al-Shabazz's willingness to change and adapt his worldview with new experience makes his life story so compelling.

Menchú undergoes a similar transformation when she realizes she must learn Spanish in order to better communicate with other Indian groups who do not speak the same language. She learns Spanish from a ladino (the Guatemalan term for a person of mixed Indian and Spanish blood; the ruling class and government of Guatemala is made up of ladinos). Her close association with what had heretofore been the enemy leads her to the following realization: "Anyway, the example of my compañero ladino made me really understand the barrier which has been put up between the Indian and the ladino, and that because of this same system which tries to divide us, we haven't understood that ladinos also live in terrible conditions, the same as we do" (Menchú 165). From this point on, Menchú works for the struggle at a national level. The movement begins to focus on class struggle instead of Indian versus ladino. Overcoming the tribalism reinforced by both her own society and the racist ladino society marks Menchú as an extraordinary person, well worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In many ways, my goal in teaching these two works together would be for the students to reach an epiphany similar to the one Al-Shabazz and Menchú reached. Students could learn to recognize that the arbitrary religious or ethnic lines drawn in societies both here and abroad are just that: arbitrary lines. It would also be necessary to point out how important it is to maintain the racial/ethnic pride they both exhibit. Al-Shabazz and Menchú are not saying "one world, one people," they are saying "one world, many different types of people with mutual respect and preservation of differences." By the end of such a course of study, I would hope that students would better understand why these two individuals have rooms and plazas named after them. They would also have an understanding of the connections in the struggle for civil rights in the Americas. The greatest challenge not covered by this paper is providing the proper historical context for both texts. Once that is achieved, Al-Shabazz and Menchú can speak for themselves.13

Notes
1 He changed his name to Malik Al-Shabazz when he converted to Orthodox Islam. The Al-Hajj is the customary title added to any Muslim's name once they have made the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca.
2 The course I envision would be a required freshman year reading and composition course, "Europe and the Americas" or "Testimonial/Resistance Literature" or, at SFSU specifically, "Our Student Union" which would also include the stories of Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez.
3 For further information on providing context for Malcolm X, I recommend Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X by Michael Eric Dyson. For Menchú, there are several excellent essays in Teaching and Testimony: Rigoberta Menchú and The North American Classroom, most notably: "Creating Context for Rigoberta Menchú" by Gene H. Bell-Villada, and "Bridging the Gap: Modes of Testimony and Teaching Central American Politics," by Daniel Goldrich. This same volume includes an index of helpful film and video resources.
4 Pun intended.
5 The slave narrative is not only a North American phenomenon; there are several from Cuba and Brazil. However, the unique form slavery took in the United States, with slave and free states, made them much more common there. The large reading public of potential and actual abolitionists made for a much larger market. There were literally hundreds of them published in the North and Canada in the 19th Century (not counting the more than 2,300 collected during the 1930s under the WPA).
6 The Popul Vuh is one of the few surviving books of the Maya. It details the Maya creation myth and the history of the Quiché, a distinctive linguistic and cultural group within the Maya. Menchú is a Quiché.
7 I am listing both Menchú and her coauthor in the discussion of autoethnography because, unlike the testimonio aspects, I cannot be sure whose idea it was to include this information, and certainly the placement of it throughout the text was most likely Burgos-Debray's doing.
8 Guatemalan word for coastal plantations.
9 The 1920s were the zenith of the 20th Century Klan revival. It was by no means only a Southern phenomenon; in fact, the Midwest had some of the biggest and most powerful Klans.
10 The name of the mountainous region in Northwestern Guatemala.
11 In its final form, the text is dedicated to his wife and children.
12 Present-day Nation of Islam has abandoned the more radical theories for the creation of whites and has adopted Orthodox Islam, though it still retains a decidedly puritanical American flavor.
13 I have deliberately left out mention in the body of this text the recent controversy over Menchú's testimony. It is only to avoid being accused of incomplete scholarship that I am addressing it here. In brief, Menchú's text became embroiled in the North American culture wars of the early 1990s because it was being used in classes similar to the one I envision here. Adding to the uproar was a researcher named David Stoll who doubted some of the facts presented by Menchú. Stoll was a reporter turned anthropologist who spent ten years researching the veracity of Menchú's story in Guatemala. Stoll published a book in 2000 with much fanfare in North America, claiming that Menchú distorted the truth or told outright lies throughout her book. I have read Stoll's work and the various rebuttals, and I have found his motivation to be entirely suspect. His work, though it took place in Guatemala, seems aimed (a bit late I'm afraid) at the left-leaning academics who were embroiled in the culture wars mentioned above. He does not dispute that there were massacres of Indians during that time period; his main issue seems to be with the different guerilla groups' ties to communism. Had anthropology been the true goal of his scholarship instead of politically motivated journalistic fact-finding, his research would have been more compelling. As it stands he seems to be capitalizing on Menchú's fame. The recently published book about the Stoll/Menchú controversy, The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy, edited by Arturo Arias, contains vast amounts of information, including a very good essay on how to teach the controversy: "Teaching, Testimony, and Truth: Rigoberta Menchú's Credibility in the North American Classroom" by Allen Carey-Webb.

Works Cited

Haley, Alex, and Malcolm X. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine, 1964.

Menchú, Rigoberta, and Elisabeth Burgos-Debray. I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala. Trans. Ann Wright. New York: Verso, 1984.

Ohmann, Carol. "The Autobiography of Malcolm X: A Revolutionary Use of the Franklin Tradition." American Quarterly 22.3 (1970): 131-49.

Pratt, Mary Louise. "Me Llamo Rigoberta Menchú: Autoethnography and the Recoding of Citizenship." Teaching and Testimony: Rigoberta Menchú and the North American Classroom. Eds. Allen Carey-Webb and Stephen Benz. Albany: State U of New York P, 1996. 57-72.

Zimmerman, Marc. Literature and Resistance in Guatemala: Textual Modes and Cultural Politics from El Señor Presidente to Rigoberta Menchú. Athens: Ohio UP, 1995.

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