Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Latino Zoot-Suit Riot

These are Navy Sailors ready to quarrel with the Zoot Suits. (

The Latino Zoot-Suit Riot

" By the beginning of 1943, America was deeply engaged with World War II. In Los Angeles, the city had already been emptied of its residents of Japanese ancestry. Young Latinos, unlike their elders, were not content to stay within their barrios, but were spilling into downtown dance halls, movie houses, pool halls and clubs. As young men are prone to do, many young Latino males distinguished themselves with distinctive hairdos ("duck tails") and apparel ("drape shapes" or "zoot suits" - wide-brimmed hats, broad-shouldered long coats, high-waisted peg-legged trousers and long dangling chains). They called themselves pachucos. They came into contact with swarms of other young men who wore another type of uniform ...military men. The war had caused Los Angeles to swell with military personnel at local bases, many of them from other parts of the country with no prior experience with Latinos and Latino culture. At first, serviceman merely derided the young Latino males attired in "zoot suits." The derision turned to resentment, however, because the young Latino "zoot suiters" were not in military uniform. In fact, many Mexican American men were already in military uniform, disproportionately so for their numbers. Yet this was not what bored, restless young white servicemen saw when rubbing shoulders with strutting, brown-skinned "zoot suiters" in downtown Los Angeles. The local press had been beating a drum of fear that a "Mexican crime wave" had hit the city and "zoot suiters" and "gangsters" were one and the same." ( (

In 1943 Latinos in Los Angeles they started wearing zoot suits. Some Navy soilders got together to beat and take the zoot suits clothes and possesions. They beat anyone that was male latino or in the area at this time. 500 latinos took the blame, and were arrested. This was a very un fair event in history.
The picture to the left is from ( as you can see they are wearing zoot suits. Mexican-Americans were harshly discriminated against; some sailors would beat them up and take their suits. People in zoot suits were thought of as gangsters.

This photograph is of Teenagers during the Zoot suit riots. (


  1. I liked this blog, i think is very interesting, most of all for the new ideas that this blog talk. I must to say it catche my attention since the first time that i read it.
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  2. Gangster suits I always want to wear because they're cool and there are lots of gangster suits around the town.

  3. This is interesting, now at least I have an idea that the Latinos that are wearing zoot suits before are used to be mistaken as a gangster. It is really unfair for the part of some people.

  4. zoot suits is already use in year of world war II,Thanks for this dude.I have also big and tall suits.

  5. I've been already read this article on some of my world war II magazines. but thank again!

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  7. Well if the case before was like that, I'd rather wear a mens blazer than a zoot suit.