The phrase “Zoot Suit Riots” implies that the Mexican-American kids who dressed up in stylish zoot suits were the ones who were out of control during the week of riots that occurred in this city in 1943, but in reality they were largely the victims of racist U.S. military personnel and white civilians who went on a violent rampage as the police and civic authorities looked the other way. Barrio Boychik and Boyle Heights History Tours present The Zoot Suit Riots Bus Tour, a fascinating and extensive survey of the various locations where the terror unfolded, including the site of the old Sleepy Lagoon in Southeast L.A., the Navy Armory and Chavez Ravine, Boyle Heights’ Paramount Ballroom, and downtown’s Orpheum Theatre (where people of color were segregated in a separate balcony). This seemingly ancient history still has powerful resonance and parallels with current events.
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown; Sun., Aug. 18, noon-4 p.m.; $50. (213) 542-6259, facebook.com/events/683201432104501.
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