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Zoot Suit Riots
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1940's Los Angeles

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Zoot Suit Culture

Open 'Zoot Suit Culture'Initially an African American youth fashion, closely connected to jazz culture, the zoot suit was co-opted by a generation of Mexican American kids, who made it their own.

The oversized suit was both an outrageous style and a statement of defiance. Zoot suiters asserted themselves, at a time when fabric was being rationed for the war effort, and in the face of widespread discrimination.

Zoot suits were reserved for special occasions -- a dance or a birthday party. The amount of material and tailoring required made them luxury items. Many kids wore a toned-down version of the "draped" pants or styled their hair in the signature "ducktail."

Step back into 1943 ... and find out more about zoot suit culture.

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1940's Los Angeles

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