Unpacking the History Behind the Pachuco Ball: Zoot Suit Riots & Media Demonization of Early Chicanos

Free event | Registration required

The last two Augusts, we’ve enjoyed the Pachuco Ball organized by Cultura con Llantas to raise funds for The Cheech. Due to COVID-19, we have to postpone the event this year.

In the spirit of the Pachuco Ball, join Mr. Blue of Radio Aztlan and Dr. Carlos E. Cortés, Professor Emeritus of History at University of California, Riverside, as they talk about the significant history behind the Pachuco Ball.

After the Zoom talk, Mr. Blue will spin Boogie Woogie tunes. 

For those registered for the event, if you’d like to learn more about the Zoot Suit Riots prior to the event, click here.

And check out Mr. Blue’s Homenaje al Pachuco SoundCloud mix, here.

To register for the Zoom, click here.


If you did not get into the Zoom, please join us for future programs to be announced.

To learn more about The Cheech, click here.

To donate to The Cheech, click here (and choose Cultural con Llantas) or text CHEECH to 44321.

About Dr. Carlos E. Cortés

Dr. Carlos E. Cortés is a Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Riverside. Since 1990 he has served on the summer faculty of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education, while he is also on the faculties of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication and the Federal Executive Institute and has served as a Smithsonian Institution public lecturer.

A consultant to many government agencies, school systems, universities, mass media, private businesses, and other organizations, Cortés has lectured widely throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia on the implications of diversity for education, government, business, and media.

Cortés has served as Scholar-in-Residence with Univision Communications and as Creative/Cultural Advisor for Nickelodeon’s Peabody-Award-winning children’s television series, “Dora the Explorer,” and its sequels, “Go, Diego, Go!” and “Dora and Friends: Into the City.” For his Nickelodeon contributions, he received the 2009 NAACP Image Award.

He also travels the country performing his one-person autobiographical play, A Conversation with Alana: One Boy’s Multicultural Rite of Passage. His recent books include The Children Are Watching: How the Media Teach about Diversity, The Making—and Remaking—of a Multiculturalist, and his memoir, Rose Hill: An Intermarriage Before Its Time. He also edited the four-volume Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia.

Cortés has received numerous honors, including honorary doctorates and awards. While at the University of California, Riverside, he received the campus’ Distinguished Teaching Award, Faculty Public Service Award, and Emeritus Professor of the Year Award. In 2016, the City of Riverside, California, established the annual Carlos E. Cortés Award for community service that fosters inclusivity and diversity.

Zoot Suit, 1978, by Ignacio Gomez. This screenprint on paper is dated 2002 and is part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, gifted by Ricardo and Harriett Romo.