What was the significance of the Zoot Suit Riots?
Like leather jackets in the Sixties, or Michael Jordan sneaker in the Eighties, the "zoot suits" adopted by the pachucos helped identify members of a like-minded set. The panchucos represented "a rebellious youth culture among Chicanos. Arturo Madrid-Barela describes how the Pachuco became a symbol of resistance against the homogenizing effects of assimilation (Madrid Barela 1973). He notes that the Pachucos' style is derived from elements of urban black culture, such as their suits and the music they listened to, but elements of Mexican culture...
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It was a style that was used by Chicanos to make them stand out, kind of a rebellion, and of course the general population would see these guys dressed in this fashion, and as most of the Chicano peopleare viewed today, right away knew who, and what they were! Branded as bandits, bad guys, or people that are ruthless, and come from a minority!