Front cover image for Hey Pachuco! " that Zoot Suit Can Cause a Riot."

Hey Pachuco! " that Zoot Suit Can Cause a Riot."

Popular music and films can become vehicles in the study of racial prejudices and stereotypes and provide a framework for understanding the popular opinions of a particular era. At the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, a course incorporates popular music and videos into the study of historical accounts of the 20th century focusing on racial stereotypes. The sometimes-obscure Los Angeles "Zoot Suit Riots" of 1943 come alive with the combination of colorful, energetic, visual and musical references. This paper looks at some themes examined in the course: the social history associated with the "swing" music of the 1930s and 1940s; the reemergence of swing music in the 1990s; the Mexican American "pachuco" youth culture of 1940s Los Angeles, with its flamboyant fashions in clothing; the "railroading" of pachuco youths during the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial and subsequent riots; swing music in films and accompanying portrayals of Black-White segregation; early television's treatment of minorities; the movement of 1980s "grunge" bands into swing music; and social statements in the lyrics of modern swing music. (Sv)
Microform, English, 2000