Zoot Suit Riots, 1st Edition

  • Roger Bruns
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0313398798
  • ISBN-13: 9780313398797
  • DDC: 306.09794
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 218 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2014 | Published/Released December 2014
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2014

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Although the "zoot suit" had earlier been a black youth fashion trend identified with jazz culture, by the 1940s, the zoot suit was adopted by Mexican American teenagers in wartime Los Angeles, who wore it as their unofficial "uniform" as an act of rebellion and to establish their cultural identity. For a week in June of 1943, the Zoot Suit Riots, instigated by Anglo-American servicemen and condoned by the Los Angeles police, terrorized the Mexican American community. The events were an ugly testament to the climate of racial tension and resentment in Los Angeles-and after similar riots began across the nation, it became apparent how endemic the problem was. This book traces these important historic events and their subsequent cultural and political influences on the Mexican American experience, especially the activist and reform efforts designed to prevent similar future injustices. General readers will gain an understanding of the challenges facing the Mexican American community in wartime Los Angeles, grasp the racial and cultural resistance of the larger Anglo-American society of the time, and see how the blatant injustices of the Sleepy Lagoon trial and the Zoot Suit Riots served to galvanize Latinos and others to fight back. Those conducting in-depth research will appreciate having access to original materials sourced from Federal and state archives as well as newspapers and other repositories of information provided in the book.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Other Frontmatter.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Series Foreword.
1: The Setting.
2: The Death at Sleepy Lagoon.
3: The Trial.
4: The Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee.
5: The Riots.
6: The Aftermath.
7: The Appeal.
8: Continuing the Fight.
9: Biographies of Key Figures.
10: Díaz, José.
11: Encinas, Lorena Rosalee.
12: Endore, Guy.
13: Fricke, Charles W..
14: Leyvas, Henry.
15: Margolis, Ben.
16: McGrath, Alice Greenfield.
17: McWilliams, Carey.
18: Moreno, Luisa.
19: Shibley, George.
20: Tenney, Jack.
21: Valdez, Luis.
22: Primary Documents.
23: Extract of Report of Alan Cranston on Growing Racial Tensions in Los Angeles, November 1942.
24: Excerpts of Radio Broadcast by Los Angeles City Officials, June 9, 1943.
25: Excerpts of “Litton Report,” 11th Naval District, Commandant's Office, June 19, 1943.
26: Joseph T. McGucken, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, to Earl Warren, Governor of California, June 21, 1943.
27: Excerpts from Pamphlet The Sleepy Lagoon Case Prepared by the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee, 1943.
28: Excerpts from Special Operation Report of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, July 9, 1943.
29: William Blocker, American Consul General, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to Secretary of State Cordell Hull; Conclusions on Zoot Suit Disturbances, August 3, 1943.
30: Orson Welles to California Parole Board, San Quentin, California, March 1, 1944.
31: Excerpts of Appellate Decision in People V. Zammora, 1944.
Annotated Bibliography.
About the Author.