THE POWER OF THE ZOOT YOUTH CULTURE AND RESISTANCE DURING WORLD WAR II AMERICAN CROSSROADS

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The Power Of The Zoot

Author : Luis Alvarez
ISBN : 9780520261549
Genre : Design
File Size : 29.12 MB
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Flamboyant zoot suit culture, with its ties to fashion, jazz and swing music, jitterbug and Lindy Hop dancing, unique patterns of speech, and even risqu� experimentation with gender and sexuality, captivated the country's youth in the 1940s. The Power of the Zoot is the first book to give national consideration to this famous phenomenon. Providing a new history of youth culture based on rare, in-depth interviews with former zoot-suiters, Luis Alvarez explores race, region, and the politics of culture in urban America during World War II. He argues that Mexican American and African American youths, along with many nisei and white youths, used popular culture to oppose accepted modes of youthful behavior, the dominance of white middle-class norms, and expectations from within their own communities.
Category: Design

Wild Tongues

Author : Rita Urquijo-Ruiz
ISBN : 9780292723849
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 39.1 MB
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Tracing the configuration of the slapstick, destitute Peladita/Peladito and the Pachuca/Pachuco (depicted in flashy zoot suits) from 1928 to 2004, Wild Tongues is an ambitious, extensive examination of social order in Mexican and Chicana/o cultural productions in literature, theater, film, music, and performance art. From the use of the Peladita and the Peladito as stock characters who criticized various aspects of the Mexican government in the 1920s and 1930s to contemporary performance art by María Elena Gaitán and Dan Guerrero, which yields a feminist and queer-studies interpretation, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz emphasizes the transnational capitalism at play in these comic voices. Her study encompasses both sides of the border, including the use of the Pachuca and the Pachuco as anti-establishment, marginal figures in the United States. The result is a historically grounded, interdisciplinary approach that reimagines the limitations of nation-centered thinking and reading. Beginning with Daniel Venegas’s 1928 novel, Las aventuras de don Chipote o Cuando los pericos mamen, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz’s Wild Tongues demonstrates early uses of the Peladito to call attention to the brutal physical demands placed on the undocumented Mexican laborer. It explores Teatro de Carpa (tent theater) in-depth as well, bringing to light the experience of Mexican Peladita Amelia Wilhelmy, whose “La Willy” was famous for portraying a cross-dressing male soldier who criticizes the failed Revolution. In numerous other explorations such as these, the political, economic, and social power of creativity continually takes center stage.
Category: Social Science

The Struggle In Black And Brown

Author : Brian D. Behnken
ISBN : 9780803262713
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 43.89 MB
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It might seem that African Americans and Mexican Americans would have common cause in matters of civil rights. This volume, which considers relations between blacks and browns during the civil rights era, carefully examines the complex and multifaceted realities that complicate such assumptionsãand that revise our view of both the civil rights struggle and black-brown relations in recent history. Unique in its focus, innovative in its methods, and broad in its approach to various locales and time periods, the book provides key perspectives to understanding the development of Americaês ethnic and sociopolitical landscape. These essays focus chiefly on the Southwest, where Mexican Americans and African Americans have had a long history of civil rights activism. Among the cases the authors take up are the unification of black and Chicano civil rights and labor groups in California; divisions between Mexican Americans and African Americans generated by the War on Poverty; and cultural connections established by black and Chicano musicians during the period. Together these cases present the first truly nuanced picture of the conflict and cooperation, goodwill and animosity, unity and disunity that played a critical role in the history of both black-brown relations and the battle for civil rights. Their insights are especially timely, as black-brown relations occupy an increasingly important role in the nationês public life.
Category: Social Science

Zoot Suit

Author : Kathy Peiss
ISBN : 9780812204599
Genre : History
File Size : 78.49 MB
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ZOOT SUIT (n.): the ultimate in clothes. The only totally and truly American civilian suit. —Cab Calloway, The Hepster's Dictionary, 1944 Before the fashion statements of hippies, punks, or hip-hop, there was the zoot suit, a striking urban look of the World War II era that captivated the imagination. Created by poor African American men and obscure tailors, the "drape shape" was embraced by Mexican American pachucos, working-class youth, entertainers, and swing dancers, yet condemned by the U.S. government as wasteful and unpatriotic in a time of war. The fashion became notorious when it appeared to trigger violence and disorder in Los Angeles in 1943—events forever known as the "zoot suit riot." In its wake, social scientists, psychiatrists, journalists, and politicians all tried to explain the riddle of the zoot suit, transforming it into a multifaceted symbol: to some, a sign of social deviance and psychological disturbance, to others, a gesture of resistance against racial prejudice and discrimination. As controversy swirled at home, young men in other places—French zazous, South African tsotsi, Trinidadian saga boys, and Russian stiliagi—made the American zoot suit their own. In Zoot Suit, historian Kathy Peiss explores this extreme fashion and its mysterious career during World War II and after, as it spread from Harlem across the United States and around the world. She traces the unfolding history of this style and its importance to the youth who adopted it as their uniform, and at the same time considers the way public figures, experts, political activists, and historians have interpreted it. This outré style was a turning point in the way we understand the meaning of clothing as an expression of social conditions and power relations. Zoot Suit offers a new perspective on youth culture and the politics of style, tracing the seam between fashion and social action.
Category: History

A Short Offhand Killing Affair

Author : Paul Foos
ISBN : 0807862002
Genre : History
File Size : 56.18 MB
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The Mexican-American War (1846-48) found Americans on new terrain. A republic founded on the principle of armed defense of freedom was now going to war on behalf of Manifest Destiny, seeking to conquer an unfamiliar nation and people. Through an examination of rank-and-file soldiers, Paul Foos sheds new light on the war and its effect on attitudes toward other races and nationalities that stood in the way of American expansionism. Drawing on wartime diaries and letters not previously examined by scholars, Foos shows that the experience of soldiers in the war differed radically from the positive, patriotic image trumpeted by political and military leaders seeking recruits for a volunteer army. Promised access to land, economic opportunity, and political equality, the enlistees instead found themselves subjected to unusually harsh discipline and harrowing battle conditions. As a result, some soldiers adapted the rhetoric of Manifest Destiny to their own purposes, taking for themselves what had been promised, often by looting the Mexican countryside or committing racial and sexual atrocities. Others deserted the army to fight for the enemy or seek employment in the West. These acts, Foos argues, along with the government's tacit acceptance of them, translated into a more violent, damaging variety of Manifest Destiny.
Category: History

Abrazando El Esp Ritu

Author : Ana Elizabeth Rosas
ISBN : 9780520282674
Genre : History
File Size : 67.93 MB
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"Structured to meet employers' needs for low-wage farm workers, the well-known Bracero Program recruited thousands of Mexicans to perform physical labor in the United States between 1942 and 1964 in exchange for remittances sent back to Mexico. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, Ana Elizabeth Rosas uncovers a previously hidden history of transnational family life. Intimate and personal experiences are revealed to show how Mexican immigrants and their families were not passive victims but instead found ways to embrace the spirit (abrazando el espíritu) of making and implementing difficult decisions concerning their family situations--creating new forms of affection, gender roles, and economic survival strategies with long-term consequences."--Back cover.
Category: History

The Fireside Conversations

Author : Lawrence W. Levine
ISBN : 9780520265547
Genre : History
File Size : 83.50 MB
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Selected letters originally published in The people and the president, c2002 by Beacon Press.
Category: History

From Coveralls To Zoot Suits

Author : Elizabeth R. Escobedo
ISBN : 9781469602066
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 26.86 MB
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During World War II, unprecedented employment avenues opened up for women and minorities in U.S. defense industries at the same time that massive population shifts and the war challenged Americans to rethink notions of race. At this extraordinary historical moment, Mexican American women found new means to exercise control over their lives in the home, workplace, and nation. In From Coveralls to Zoot Suits, Elizabeth R. Escobedo explores how, as war workers and volunteers, dance hostesses and zoot suiters, respectable young ladies and rebellious daughters, these young women used wartime conditions to serve the United States in its time of need and to pursue their own desires. But even after the war, as Escobedo shows, Mexican American women had to continue challenging workplace inequities and confronting family and communal resistance to their broadening public presence. Highlighting seldom heard voices of the "Greatest Generation," Escobedo examines these contradictions within Mexican families and their communities, exploring the impact of youth culture, outside employment, and family relations on the lives of women whose home-front experiences and everyday life choices would fundamentally alter the history of a generation.
Category: Social Science

Transnational Crossroads

Author : Camilla Fojas
ISBN : 9780803240889
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 47.21 MB
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The twentieth century was a time of unprecedented migration and interaction for Asian, Latin American, and Pacific Islander cultures in the Americas and the American Pacific. Some of these ethnic groups already had historic ties, but technology, migration, and globalization during the twentieth century brought them into even closer contact. Transnational Crossroads explores and triangulates for the first time the interactions and contacts among these three cultural groups that were brought together by the expanding American empire from 1867 to 1950. Through a comparative framework, this volume weaves together narratives of U.S. and Spanish empire, globalization, resistance, and identity, as well as social, labor, and political movements. Contributors examine multiethnic celebrities and key figures, migratory paths, cultural productions, and social and political formations among these three groups. Engaging multiple disciplines and methodologies, these studies of Asian American, Latin American, and Pacific Islander cultural interactions explode traditional notions of ethnic studies and introduce new approaches to transnational and comparative studies of the Americas and the American Pacific.
Category: Social Science