Zoot Suit Riots

Author: Roger A. Bruns
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313398798
Size: 22.40 MB
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The Zoot Suit Riots in 1943 and the infamous Sleepy Lagoon murder trial of the preceding year represent a turning point in the cultural identity and historical experience of Mexican Americans in the United States. This engaging study of these regrettable events provides context for understanding the continuing battles in the 21st century over immigration policy and race relations. • Connects the racially and socioeconomically motivated events of the World War II-era 1940s to the Chicano movement of the 1970s and the current battles over immigration legislation, allowing readers to see the recurring theme in American history • Exposes the distortions of a yellow journalistic press in its coverage and treatment of the Sleepy Lagoon trial and Zoot Suit Riots, providing documentation of how white America's perception of Mexican Americans has been fashioned over many years by the mainstream media • Documents how the zoot-suit and Pachuco cultures of Mexican American youths of the 1940s—an expression of their identity and an attempt to establish their place in the larger American culture—were a key reason behind the violent culture clashes • Includes previously unpublished primary documents from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Franklin Roosevelt Library

Zoot Suit

Author: Kathy Peiss
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 081220459X
Size: 71.68 MB
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ZOOT SUIT (n.): the ultimate in clothes. The only totally and truly American civilian suit. —Cab Calloway, The Hepster's Dictionary, 1944 Before the fashion statements of hippies, punks, or hip-hop, there was the zoot suit, a striking urban look of the World War II era that captivated the imagination. Created by poor African American men and obscure tailors, the "drape shape" was embraced by Mexican American pachucos, working-class youth, entertainers, and swing dancers, yet condemned by the U.S. government as wasteful and unpatriotic in a time of war. The fashion became notorious when it appeared to trigger violence and disorder in Los Angeles in 1943—events forever known as the "zoot suit riot." In its wake, social scientists, psychiatrists, journalists, and politicians all tried to explain the riddle of the zoot suit, transforming it into a multifaceted symbol: to some, a sign of social deviance and psychological disturbance, to others, a gesture of resistance against racial prejudice and discrimination. As controversy swirled at home, young men in other places—French zazous, South African tsotsi, Trinidadian saga boys, and Russian stiliagi—made the American zoot suit their own. In Zoot Suit, historian Kathy Peiss explores this extreme fashion and its mysterious career during World War II and after, as it spread from Harlem across the United States and around the world. She traces the unfolding history of this style and its importance to the youth who adopted it as their uniform, and at the same time considers the way public figures, experts, political activists, and historians have interpreted it. This outré style was a turning point in the way we understand the meaning of clothing as an expression of social conditions and power relations. Zoot Suit offers a new perspective on youth culture and the politics of style, tracing the seam between fashion and social action.

The Woman In The Zoot Suit

Author: Catherine S. Ramírez
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822388642
Size: 79.44 MB
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The Mexican American woman zoot suiter, or pachuca, often wore a V-neck sweater or a long, broad-shouldered coat, a knee-length pleated skirt, fishnet stockings or bobby socks, platform heels or saddle shoes, dark lipstick, and a bouffant. Or she donned the same style of zoot suit that her male counterparts wore. With their striking attire, pachucos and pachucas represented a new generation of Mexican American youth, which arrived on the public scene in the 1940s. Yet while pachucos have often been the subject of literature, visual art, and scholarship, The Woman in the Zoot Suit is the first book focused on pachucas. Two events in wartime Los Angeles thrust young Mexican American zoot suiters into the media spotlight. In the Sleepy Lagoon incident, a man was murdered during a mass brawl in August 1942. Twenty-two young men, all but one of Mexican descent, were tried and convicted of the crime. In the Zoot Suit Riots of June 1943, white servicemen attacked young zoot suiters, particularly Mexican Americans, throughout Los Angeles. The Chicano movement of the 1960s–1980s cast these events as key moments in the political awakening of Mexican Americans and pachucos as exemplars of Chicano identity, resistance, and style. While pachucas and other Mexican American women figured in the two incidents, they were barely acknowledged in later Chicano movement narratives. Catherine S. Ramírez draws on interviews she conducted with Mexican American women who came of age in Los Angeles in the late 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s as she recovers the neglected stories of pachucas. Investigating their relative absence in scholarly and artistic works, she argues that both wartime U.S. culture and the Chicano movement rejected pachucas because they threatened traditional gender roles. Ramírez reveals how pachucas challenged dominant notions of Mexican American and Chicano identity, how feminists have reinterpreted la pachuca, and how attention to an overlooked figure can disclose much about history making, nationalism, and resistant identities.

Latinasian Cartographies

Author: Susan Thananopavarn
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813589886
Size: 56.79 MB
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LatinAsian Cartographies examines how Latina/o and Asian American writers provide important counter-narratives to the stories of racial encroachment that have come to characterize twenty-first century dominant discourses on race. Susan Thananopavarn contends that the Asian American and Latina/o presence in the United States, although often considered marginal in discourses of American history and nationhood, is in fact crucial to understanding how national identity has been constructed historically and continues to be constructed in the present day. Thananopavarn creates a new “LatinAsian” view of the United States that emphasizes previously suppressed aspects of national history, including imperialism, domestic racism during World War II, Cold War operations in Latin America and Asia, and the politics of borders in an age of globalization. LatinAsian Cartographies ultimately reimagines national narratives in a way that transforms dominant ideas of what it means to be American.

Chicano Drama

Author: Jorge Huerta
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521778176
Size: 69.53 MB
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An accessible introduction for students and theatregoers of Chicano theatre, first published in 2000.

Murder At The Sleepy Lagoon

Author: Eduardo Obregón Pagán
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807862094
Size: 31.38 MB
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The notorious 1942 "Sleepy Lagoon" murder trial in Los Angeles concluded with the conviction of seventeen young Mexican American men for the alleged gang slaying of fellow youth Jose Diaz. Just five months later, the so-called Zoot Suit Riot erupted, as white soldiers in the city attacked minority youths and burned their distinctive zoot suits. Eduardo Obregon Pagan here provides the first comprehensive social history of both the trial and the riot and argues that they resulted from a volatile mix of racial and social tensions that had long been simmering. In reconstructing the lives of the murder victim and those accused of the crime, Pagan contends that neither the convictions (which were based on little hard evidence) nor the ensuing riot arose simply from anti-Mexican sentiment. He demonstrates instead that a variety of pre-existing stresses, including demographic pressures, anxiety about nascent youth culture, and the war effort all contributed to the social tension and the eruption of violence. Moreover, he recovers a multidimensional picture of Los Angeles during World War II that incorporates the complex intersections of music, fashion, violence, race relations, and neighborhood activism. Drawing upon overlooked evidence, Pagan concludes by reconstructing the murder scene and proposes a compelling theory about what really happened the night of the murder.

Zoot Suits And Secondhand Dresses

Author: Angela McRobbie
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
ISBN: 1349199990
Size: 57.18 MB
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Bringing together a range of previously published and specially commissioned articles on the expanding field of popular culture, this book examines how fashion and the body can reflect both resourcefulness and rebellion, the youth culture of the 1980s and music from punk and beyond.

Encyclopedia Of Race Ethnicity And Society

Author: Richard T. Schaefer
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1412926947
Size: 34.36 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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This three volume reference set offers a comprehensive look at the roles race and ethnicity play in society and in our daily lives. General readers, students, and scholars alike will appreciate the informative coverage of intergroup relations in the United States and the comparative examination of race and ethnicity worldwide. These volumes offer a foundation to understanding as well as researching racial and ethnic diversity from a multidisciplinary perspective. Over a hundred racial and ethnic groups are described, with additional thematic essays offering insight into broad topics that cut across group boundaries and which impact on society. The encyclopedia has alphabetically arranged author-signed essays with references to guide further reading. Numerous cross-references aid the reader to explore beyond specific entries, reflecting the interdependent nature of race and ethnicity operating in society. The text is supplemented by photographs, tables, figures and custom-designed maps to provide an engaging visual look at race and ethnicity. An easy-to-use statistical appendix offers the latest data with carefully selected historical comparisons to aid study and research in the area