• A red carriage with children in it

      Pasadena Black History Month Parade and Festival (Photo – Jason Hardin)

      The City of Pasadena will commemorate Black History Month by recognizing the achievements and contributions of African Americans and their central role in our nation’s history.

      By News Desk

      Pasadena Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department, Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena Black History Committee, The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library, and community groups are offering a month-long series of programs, events, and activities for all ages in February. All programs and events are free unless otherwise noted.

      Events

      For all ages unless specified.

      15th Annual PCC Young African American Males Conference
      Feb. 9, 2024
      9:00 am – 4:00 pm
      Location
      Pasadena City College
      1570 E. Colorado Blvd.
      Pasadena, CA 91106

      This annual event at Pasadena City College offers exposure to college and career resources, powerful mentor connections, exciting games and activities, and free giveaways. High school students can RSVP online.

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      The Black Panther Party Strategies for Organizing the People Around Health
      Feb. 9, 2024
      3:00 pm
      Location
      Hastings Branch Library
      3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.
      Pasadena, CA 91107

      Norma Stoker-Mtume, MHS, MA, MFT has been an ardent advocate of communities since 1967, from her work in the Black Student Union of Cal State LA, the Black Panther Party, free clinics of Los Angeles and Berkeley, and non-profit community health organizations, to her current work as director of SHIELDS for Families. Her activism was recently commemorated in the book, Comrade Sisters: Women of the Black Panther Party. Stoker-Mtume will present the Black Panther Party strategies for organizing people around health, followed by Q and A. For ages 18+.

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      Praise Dance with Jai Wright
      Feb. 15, 2024
      4:30 pm
      Location
      La Pintoresca Branch Library
      1355 N. Raymond Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      Enjoy a moving performance of a praise dance by Jai Wright. Praise dance is a liturgical hallmark of many African American Christian churches, going back to the 1970s, but it has deep historical roots in African music and culture. Dancers use movement and gesture to express spiritual joy and devotion to God. It’s the kind of performance that will make your heart soar!

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      42nd Annual Black History Parade and Festival
      Feb. 17, 2024
      10:00 am – 4:00 pm
      Location
      Robinson Park
      1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      Southern California’s largest and longest-running Black history parade begins at Fair Oaks Ave. and Mountain View St., and ends at Robinson Park. Enjoy pomp and circumstance of bands, drill and drum teams, community organizations, dignitaries, celebrity Grand Marshals, and award-winning actors Michael Jai White and Gillian Iliana White, Community Grand Marshal Danny Bakewell Jr., Pastor Emeritus William Turner Jr., and the Queen and Court of the Tournament of Roses. The festival at Robinson Park features live bands, dance performances, community booths, food for purchase, and tons of fun!

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      Artist Reception
      Feb. 17, 2024
      3:00 pm
      Location
      Hastings Branch Library
      3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.
      Pasadena, CA 91107

      An afternoon reception will feature photographer Alfred Haymond. Mingle with fellow art lovers and enjoy the artist’s artwork with the artist himself! Light refreshments will be provided.

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      Senior Night Celebration
      Feb. 23, 2024
      6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
      Location
      Pasadena Senior Center
      85 E. Holly St.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      Enjoy a night of music, entertainment, dancing, socializing, and fabulous Soul Food. Cost is $35 per person to be made payable to the Pasadena Recreation and Parks Foundation and paid at the Jackie Robinson Community Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave. For questions, call (626) 744-7300. For ages 50+.

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      Black Education Expo
      Feb. 24, 2024
      9:00 am – 3:00 pm
      Location
      Lake Avenue Church
      393 N Lake Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91101

      This free K-12 event will be located at the Family Life Center at Lake Avenue Church. The latest education and resources will collide with exhibitors, informative teen and parent workshops, and a Kids Zone. This event is open to all students and families, fostering an inclusive environment where all can celebrate Black culture and education diversity. Those interested in attending, exhibiting, or sponsoring can visit the Expo website or call the Black Education Expo Team at (323) 475-6293.

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      Black Mexico: The African Heritage in Mexico
      Feb. 24, 2024
      1:00 pm
      Location
      Lamanda Park Branch Library
      140 S. Altadena Dr.
      Pasadena, CA 91107

      Dr. Gloria Arjona will describe the social and cultural contributions of African-descended people in Mexico from 1519-1810. The program includes images of historic Casa Paintings depicting how interracial marriage was viewed during the days of the Spanish colonization. For ages 18+.

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      Black Women in World War II: “Greatness Under Fire”
      Feb. 24, 2024
      4:00 pm
      Via Zoom

      In 2018, author Dante R. Brizill began writing his Greatness Under Fire series, the first of which was the Pearl Harbor hero Doris “Dorie” Miller and most recently Black Women in WWII: Greatness Under Fire in 2021. “I wanted to share my love of history in a way that would get our youth excited about the past. You need to know the past to understand the present. I want my books to impact the future,” said Brizill. For ages 13+. To attend, sign up at PasadenaLibrary.Trumba.com/.

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      Observations in Black, 8th Edition
      Feb. 1 – 29, 2024
      Monday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
      Friday & Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Sunday: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
      Location
      Hastings Branch Library
      3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.
      Pasadena, CA 91107

      Exhibit featuring Artist Alfred Haymond, a self-taught photographer whose approach is described simply as “The art of finding those mundane occurrences happening all around us and visually documenting them.”

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      The History of Black Mutual Aid Funds in the Pasadena Community
      Feb. 1 – 29, 2024
      Monday – Saturday
      10:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Location
      La Pintoresca Branch Library
      1355 N. Raymond Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      La Pintoresca’s glass display case will house an exhibit with photographs from Pasadena Black Equity Project’s digital archive, and educational material about the history and importance of mutual aid in the Pasadena Black community from the 1800s to the present.

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      Pasadena Black History Picture Walk
      Feb. 1 – 29, 2024
      Location
      Jefferson Branch Library
      1500 E. Villa St.
      Pasadena, CA 91106

      Celebrate notable Black Pasadenans who have made contributions in the area of medicine, literature, sports, government, law, education, and civil rights with an outdoor picture walk through Pasadena history all month long.

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      Support Black-Owned Businesses in Pasadena and Altadena

      During February and all year long, support local Black-owned businesses. Visit this website to view a list of businesses in the Pasadena and Altadena area with African American owners created in collaboration with Hood Liberation. If you wish to add your business to the list, fill out the online form.

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      People, Places, and Events Shaped by African-Americans

      Take a virtual tour with local community members as they provide information on landmarks, educational institutions, sports, businesses, and other areas of interest impacted by Black Pasadenans. The virtual tour begins on February 1 at this website.

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      Alkebu-lan Cultural Center Black History Celebrations
      Feb. 1 – 24, 2024
      Location
      Alkebu-lan Cultural Center
      1425 N. Raymond Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      Join the Alkebu-Ian Cultural Center as they celebrate African American History Month. Enjoy a workshop, Capoeira lecture, book talks, Pfamily Steppers senior dance performance, the second annual Black Arts Festival, and more! Contact the Alkebu-lan Cultural Center at (626) 807-4006 for more information on specific activities, dates, and times.

      cars and a screen

      Drive-In Movie as part of Pasadena Black History Month events (Photo – cityofpasadena.net)

      Programs

      Research Your Past
      Feb. 8, 2024
      4:30 pm
      Location
      La Pintoresca Branch Library
      1355 N. Raymond Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      Learn how to research your genealogy using tools like Ancestry.com, Family Search, Pasadena News Index and other sources provided by the library. For ages 13+.

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      Chocolate Storytime
      Feb. 10, 2024
      3:00 pm
      Location
      La Pintoresca Branch Library
      1355 N. Raymond Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      Enjoy an afternoon of storytelling and village building, featuring stories authored by and/or about African Americans, read by Dr. Ayesha Randall. Kids will have fun, make new friends, and do crafts.

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      Preserve Your Family Photos
      Feb. 22, 2024
      4:30 pm
      Location
      La Pintoresca Branch Library
      1355 N. Raymond Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      Bring your family photos to be digitized and immortalized! You will scan your photos onto a USB flash drive. For ages 13+.

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      Black History and Assemblage Art
      Feb. 17, 2024
      4:00 pm
      Location
      Jefferson Branch Library
      1500 E. Villa St.
      Pasadena, CA 91106

      In honor of Black History Month, join us to learn about Noah Purifoy, a prominent sculptor integral in the creation of the Watts Towers. Learn about assemblage art with artist Alyson Toone then make your own with various objects and materials provided. For ages 13-19. Held in partnership with Remainders Creative Reuse. To attend, sign up here.

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      Celebrate Your Family History
      March 23, 2024
      11:00 am
      Location
      La Pintoresca Branch Library
      1355 N. Raymond Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      Create a display about your family history with posterboards and scrapbooking materials. All materials provided. Presented in partnership with Pasadena Black Equity Project. For ages 13+.

      Crafts

      Freedom Quilt Paper Craft
      Feb. 1 – 10, 2024
      10:00 am – 6:00 pm
      Location
      San Rafael Branch Library
      1240 Nithsdale Rd.
      Pasadena, CA 91105

      Freedom quilts are a historic craft that served as a form of visual communication and a tool for escaping slavery. They were used to convey messages and directions to those seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad. Come by San Rafael Branch Library to make your own paper craft. For ages 3-12.

      Take & Make Crafts

      Enjoy fun, free take-and-make crafts that are simple and easy to make! Follow the instructions below to reserve your craft kit. Sign-ups begin at the start of the day – you do not need to wait for the library to open to sign up. Kits are limited to one per participant. Kits contain the necessary craft materials and instructions to help guide you in creating the craft. Additional household items such as scissors, a stapler, glue, or tape may be needed. The kits are extremely popular and available while supplies last. Kits not picked up by a certain date will be released to those on the waiting list. For all ages unless specified.

      Take & Make: Alma Woodsey Thomas Collage Bookmark
      Feb. 12, 2024
      While supplies last

      Alma Woodsey Thomas was a prominent African American artist whose colorful abstract paintings are widely displayed, including in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her watercolor and oil paintings incorporated the use of (sometimes overlapping) colorful rectangles. You can see her 1968 work, “Untitled,” at the Museum of Modern Art in Los Angeles. Reserve a kit at this website. Sign-ups begin on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Kits can be picked up at Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.

      Book Discussions

      Join in-person and virtual book clubs led by the Library’s book experts. For adults ages 18+.

      Online Book Group
      Feb. 17, 2024
      10:30 am
      Via Zoom

      Will discuss By Her Own Design: A Novel of Ann Lowe, Fashion Designer to the Social Register by Piper Huguley.

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      Octavia Butler Sci Fi Book Club
      Feb. 24, 2024
      3:00 pm
      Location
      La Pintoresca Branch Library
      1355 N. Raymond Ave.
      Pasadena, CA 91103

      Will feature author and researcher Dr. Kendra Parker, who will join from Georgia on Zoom to present her lecture: “Walking a Mile in her Shoes: Exploring Octavia Butler’s Archives.”


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