Zoot Suit Riots

1744 Words7 Pages
The Zoot Suit Heroes In the 1940’s Los Angeles had transformed from its Pueblo oriented origin into a thriving city full of lights and glamour. In the midst of all this arose a group of Mexican American kids who embraced the “Cool” Jazz culture around them, while still defying the rules of segregation that they faced. Years of oppression prior to the 1940’s had forced Los Angeles’s large Mexican American population to live in tightened neighborhoods in the outskirts of town called barrios. This form of segregation along with the racial discrimination they faced constantly in their day to day lives caused many young Mexican Americans to resent the white citizens that ruled Los Angeles. Out of this resentment was born the Pachuco a “Zoot Suit” wearing young Mexican American who rebelled against the norms of segregation by entering the clubs they weren’t supposed to be allowed in and ruling the dance floor. In the middle of a wartime economy when most citizens were rationing everything they used and putting in efforts to save up for the war, Pachucos were spending the money in their pockets on the glamorous suits that they paraded the streets of Los Angeles in. This was seen as a form of disrespect to the white citizens who were rationing for their country and racial tension quickly began to build. The young Pachucos didn’t find much acceptance in their own households either. Most of their parents were striving to conform and fit in, not rebel and stand out. This had most Pachucos fighting a war on two fronts, but it did not stop them from standing up for what they believed in; equality. Although the Pachucos were considered rebels, in the eyes of not only the white Los Angeles citizens but their own parents, in actuality they were heroes defending their barrios, giving a voice to their people, and fighting against the hand of oppression that society unrightfully
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