Presentation on theme: "Mexicans in the United States During World War II"— Presentation transcript:
1 Mexicans in the United States During World War II Resistance and Repression: The Sleepy Lagoon Case and the Zoot Suit RiotsMexicans in the United States During World War II
2 Major ThemesMexican men and women participated actively in the war effort. For many the war exposed them to new experiences that broadened their horizons.Young Mexicans adopted American youth culture and made it their own as Pachucos and Pachucas.Pachuco culture was targeted as undesirable and unpatriotic by many white Americans, but others defended Mexican youth.Attitudes toward Pachuco culture reflect the struggle in American society over how Mexican youth would be incorporated into the nation.The U.S. government, state and local initiatives as well as employers, especially in agriculture, actively recruited people from Mexico to come to the U.S. and alleviate wartime labor shortages.
3 Key Questions Were Mexicans segregated in the military during WWII? What effects did their experiences in the military have on Mexicans?How did Mexican women contribute to the war effort?How did the war change the lives of Mexican women?Who were Pachucos and Pachucas?What group was targeted during the investigation of the Sleepy Lagoon case?What group was targeted during the Zoot Suit Riots?Why were the Sleepy Lagoon defendants released?What was the “Bracero Program”? What was its relationship to WWII?
4 War ExperiencesImages are photographs of Mexican men and women who served in the military during WWII, taken from the Voces Oral History Project at
5 Mexican Women in the War & on the Home Front Audio explains all images.
6 Americanization and La Pachucada Images here are 1. A photograph of 3 young Mexican men in pachuco style dress, 2. Pachucas, female pachucos, being arrested and led into a police car during the Zoot Suit Riots, 3. Some of the men and boys who were arrested following the Sleepy Lagoon incident outside jail cells, 4. Some of the women and girls who were the sisters and girlfriends of those tried in the Sleepy Lagoon case, waiting at the police station.
7 The Sleepy Lagoon CaseAudio explains all images.
9 The Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee & Appeal Images are described in audio.
10 The Bracero Program: War Time Labor Emergency Image is a photograph of a Mexican man on his way to the United States to participate in the Bracero Program. He leans out a train window, underneath he has written in chalk in Spanish, “Braceros Mexicanos, Viva Mexico.” or “Mexican Braceros, Long Live Mexico.”
11 Further ReadingAlvarez, Luis. The Power of the Zoot: Youth Culture and Resistance During World War II. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.Endore, S. Guy, and Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee. The Sleepy Lagoon Case. Los Angeles: The Committee, 1943.Gamboa, Erasmo. Mexican Labor and World War II: Braceros in the Pacific Northwest, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.Gonzalez, Gilbert G. Guest Workers or Colonized Labor?: Mexican Labor Migration to the United States. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2006.Gutiérrez, David. Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants,and the Politics of Ethnicity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.Leonard, Kevin Allen. The Battle for Los Angeles: Racial Ideology and World War II. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006.Mazón, Mauricio. The Zoot-Suit Riots: The Psychology of Symbolic Annihilation. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1984..Pagán, Eduardo Obregón. Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.Ramírez, Catherine Sue. The Woman in the Zoot Suit: Gender, Nationalism, and The Cultural Politics of Memory. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009.Rivas-Rodriguez, Maggie, ed. Mexican Americans & World War II. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005Beyond the Latino World War II Hero: The Social and Political Legacy of a Generation. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009.