In my last Constellation session of Smells Like Teen Spirit I learnt about the Zoot suit and the style and statements behind it. I found it was an extravagant suit, worn by young African and Hispanic Americans, originating in lower class neighborhoods such as Harlem and New York.
The Suit became a way of identifying ethnicity and by 1942 had become stereotyped with crime and was effectively an illegal symbol.
By wearing the suit, you would be considered anti establishment. But it was more than that. The Zoot was there to critique America’s stance in the Second World War and its defence of other races from inhumane crimes, when it was guilty itself of such crimes such as lynching and the Jim Crow system against non whites.
By wearing the Zoot suit, the African Americans made a statement, they would not be controlled by the white American Government. This was emphasised by the large amounts of fabric used to make the suit, when fabric rationed and used sparingly, which is why it had anti establishment connotations.
Additionally I learned how to reference correctly by using direct quotes and paraphrasing, which will help me greatly in future with essay writing.