Zoot Suit Questions and Answers
by Luis Valdez

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What was the significance of the Zoot Suit Riots?

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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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amouser | Student

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!

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raquelitacorrinita | Student

A true pachuco wanted people to know that he was infact a true pachuco.  He did not want to hide what he was.  It was in his blood, his heart, his soul, and by wearing the proper attire back then for a pachuco to wear that was his statement.  He was stating to his surroundings that he was what he was and he was not afraid to make that statement publicly.  What you need to understand is that a true pachuco is never ever intimidated by nothing or no one.  So in saying what was just said that was the significance of a pachucos attire.  What he was practically saying was that he knew very well in his heart what he was and wanted the rest of the world or his surroundings at least to know what he was.  He was not ashamed nor intimidated like I said earlier,  even in this era, this time of day i should say, or better yet in this society we have our own class of pachucos.  They may not be dressed in nice exspencive zoot suits but they make it known what they are and what they stand for. I really and truly hope that maybe what I just said will give you some kind of insight or better yet answer your question in some way, fashion, or form. 

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