Historian to discuss lives of Mexican American women on WWII home front at Richmond event

Save the date! Author to discuss lives of Mexican American women on WWII home front in Richmond

Elizabeth R. Escobedo, author of From Coveralls to Zoot Suits: The Lives of Mexican American Women on the World War II Home Front, is slated to speak Feb. 28 in Richmond.

Escobedo’s talk will take place at 10 a.m. at the Visitor Education Center at the Rosie the Riveter/WWI Home Front National Historical Park, located at 1414 Harbour Way South, suite 3000. On the same day at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., the Video Education Center will show the 30-minute-long documentary, “Valentia: Mexican Americans in WWII.”

Seating is limited for Escobedo’s talk, so hurry up and reserve your seat by calling (610) 232-5050 x6622 (leave your name and phone number), or by emailing lucien_sonder@nps.gov.

The Rosie the Riveter provided this statement on Escobedo’s planned discussion:

“During World War II, unprecedented employment avenues opened up for women and minorities in U.S. defense industries at the same time that massive population shifts and the war challenged Americans to rethink notions of race. At this extraordinary historical moment, Mexican American women found new means to exercise control over their lives in the home, workplace, and nation.

Escobedo, associate professor of history at the University of Denver, explores how, as war workers and volunteers, dance hostesses and zoot suiters, respectable young ladies and rebellious daughters, these young women used wartime conditions to serve the United States in its time of need and to pursue their own desires.

But even after the war, as Escobedo shows, Mexican American women had to continue challenging workplace inequities and confronting family and communal resistance to their broadening public presence.  Highlighting seldom heard voices of the “Greatest Generation,” Escobedo examines these contradictions within Mexican families and their communities, exploring the impact of youth culture, outside employment, and family relations on the lives of women whose home-front experiences and everyday life choices would fundamentally alter the history of a generation.”


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