Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Zoot Suit Riots
Zoot suit riots is the name given to a series of conflicts that occurred in the summer of 1943 in Los Angeles, California, between servicemen and Mexican American youths who wore outfits called zoot suits. The zoot suit consisted of a broad-shouldered drape jacket, balloon-leg trousers, and, sometimes, a flamboyant hat. Mexican and Mexican American youths who wore these outfits were called zoot-suiters. These individuals referred to themselves as pacbucos , which is a name linked to the Mexican American generation's rebellion against both Mexican and American culture. Pressures related to U.S. involvement in World War II contributed to the racial tensions that preceded the riots. Workers were needed in the agricultural and service sectors of the United States to fill the jobs vacated by those who were serving in the military. An agreement was reached with Mexico whereby temporary workers from Mexico were brought into the United States. This ...