Zoot Suit Riots


Gangs of American sailors and marines armed with sticks during the Zoot Suit Riots, Los Angeles, California, June 1943. Photo by Anthony Potter Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The word “riot” here is really a misnomer. This conflict wasn’t so much about property damage as it was about attacking people. It also wasn’t really about the zoot suits – although they had come to symbolize A LOT in Los Angeles when this happened.

Tracy's Research:

  • Tovares, Joseph. “Zoot Suit Riots.” American Experience. Season 14 episode 10. WGBH.
  • Pomona College Department of Theatre & Dance. “Zoot Suit Discovery Guide.” http://research.pomona.edu/zootsuit/
  • Kale, Shelly. “Remembering the Zoot Suit Riots.” California Historical Society. 6/8/2017. https://californiahistoricalsociety.blogspot.com/2017/06/remembering-zoot-suit-riots.html
  • Del Castillo, Richard Griswold. “Los Angeles ‘Zoot Suit Riots’ Revisited: Mexican and Latin American Perspectives.” Mexican Studies. Vol. 16, No. 2. Summer 2000. http://sites.middlebury.edu/liminallatinos/files/2012/02/ZootSuitriotsMexStudies.pdf
  • Daniels, Douglas Henry. “Los Angeles Zoot: Race ‘Riot,’ the Pachuco, and Black Music Culture.” The Journal of African American History, Vol. 87, The Past before Us (Winter,2002). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1562494
  • Cosgrove, Stuart. “The Zoot-Suit and Style Warfare.” History Workshop, No. 18 (Autumn, 1984). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4288588
  • Ramírez, Catherine S. “Crimes of Fashion: The Pachuca and Chicana Style Politics.” Meridians, Vol. 2, No. 2 (2002). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40338497

Topics in this Podcast: U.S. history, racism, 20th century, court cases, Hispanic and Latino history, World War II, riots