Zoot Suits

In Attire
grandpa, brothers, and friends
grandpa, brothers, and friends

My grandfather was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico when he was about 9 years old his parents and their 8 children immigrated to the United States specifically California in the city Rivera and were issued green cards. A push factor to leave Mexico was to escape for personal freedom. Pulling them into the United States for job opportunities and increased wage benefits.  His father worked on the railroad tracks, they lived in the section of a house that was for families of workers from the railroad company. While he worked on the railroads however there was an accident and he got injured and was no longer able to return to work. In return they paid him a disability check and relocated him to Central Union Station in Los Angeles. With the money they gave him he bought property in Boyle Heights Los Angeles and built his family home for himself, his wife and his 8 children. The house he built is where my cousins still live in today. When my grandpa and his siblings entered school, the schools forced them to Americanize their names leaving behind and having to adjust to the American culture. Francisco became frank, Jose became Joseph (my grandfather), Arturo became Arthur, Ricardo became Richard, Antonio became Anthony, Sara became Sarah, Rosamaria became Rosemarie, and Guadalupe became Lupe. My grandpa in his youth lived in Los Angeles and lived through the Zoot Suit Riots facing ethnic discrimination and hate violence due to being considered a “juvenile delinquent”.

Year: 1909

– Sidney Alvarez

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant