The Los Angeles Zoot-Suit Riots
The summer of 1943, only about 2 years ago, was a very non forgettable moment in time. At that moment I lived in Los Angeles, California and was at the age of 16. I would say I was pretty rebellious back then but now at the age of 18, I have grown up and learned from my mistakes. It was a fairly nice community until Hispanics like me started to experience prejudice (Danzer 593). During the time of June 3rd and June 13th The Los Angeles Zoot-Suit Riots broke out and me and my people were the main targets. The primary targets of this violence were Mexican-American youths who wore the flamboyant zoot suits. My friends and I constantly wore these bright vibrant suits and were discriminated against. African Americans who wore this type of clothing also received prejudice (“Zoot Suit Riots” 1).

My attire consisted of a white pleaded shoulder, loose fitting pants with narrow cuffs, gold watch chains and a white brimmed hat (Mattingly 1). The only reason this riot broke out was because eleven sailors in Los Angeles reported that they had been attacked by zoot-suitors. This then caused tons of mobs to grab any zoot-suitor they could find, myself being included (Danzer 593). I was then beaten, harassed, and stripped of my zoot-suit (“Zoot Suit Riots” 1). They ripped off my clothes and beat me repeatedly (Danzer 593). I felt embarrassed, humiliated and discriminated against. The assaults of the zoot-suitors lasted almost a week and resulted in hundreds of beatings from my community of the Latinos. This has and still will leave a lasting impression on my race as a Latino and on the other communities affected such as the African Americans. I know getting through this during wartime would help me in the future and lead to a better life.

Danzer, Gerald A., et al. The Americans. IL: McDougal Littell, 2005. Pg 593
"Zoot Suit Riots." American History. 2009. ABC-CLIO. Hunterdon Country Lib. 19 Mar. 2009
Mattingly, Courtney D. "Zoot-suiters.". Encyclopedia of American History: The Great
Depression and World War II, 1929 to 1945, vol. 8. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2003. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. Hunterdon Central Regional High School. 19 March 2009

Staci Fasano