One of the darker points in the history of cultural relations in America, the Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riots of June 1943 an altercation between uniformed sailors and zoot-suit clad Angeleno Mexican-Americans, or pachucos clearly concluded on an unfair note. Not one of the sailors who came ashore and beat and stripped the chucos of their flashy gear was ever charged, while hundreds of young Latinos were jailed, and in the end, the whole thing was simply swept under the rug. Fraught with symbolism, the so-called riots defined an age-old struggle and still serve to remind modern-day Latinos of what theyve been up against over the years.
These are the bitter and poignant themes explored in Pachuco: A Historical Update, an exhibit of works commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Zoot Suit Riots and curated by Carlos Frésquez and Christine Blackburn for the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council. Pachuco opens tonight at CHAC Norte, 774 Santa Fe Drive, with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m, and continues through June 28. Visit www.chacweb.org or call 303-571-0440.
Sept. 1-30, 2008