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Pasadena 2024 Black History Month Celebrations and Activities Announced

Published on Thursday, January 18, 2024 | 8:40 am

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.

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.


For all ages unless specified.

Black History Breakfast hosted by NOBLE, Black Fire Fighters Association, and Pasadena Black Municipal Employees Association

Thursday, Feb. 1 • 8-10:30 a.m. • Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly St.

All are welcome to join the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the Black Fire Fighters Association and the Pasadena Black Municipal Employees Association (PBMEA) as they kick off Black History Month by recognizing the accomplishments of African Americans, both locally and nationally, who continue to shape our society for generations of the future. This event will feature pancakes made by Pasadena Firefighters Association, entertainment, and raffles. RSVP for this event online.

Donzaleigh Abernathy: Partners to History: Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and the Civil Rights Movement

Saturday, Feb. 3 • 2 p.m. • Lamanda Park Branch Library, 140 S. Altadena Dr.

Reverend Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were inseparable and together helped to establish what would become the modern American Civil Rights Movement. They preached, marched and were frequently jailed together. Donzaleigh Abernathy, Ralph’s youngest daughter, has written Partners to History as a testament to the courage, strength and endurance of these men who stirred a nation with their moral fortitude. She also pays tribute to the thousands of unsung heroes—the other partners to this history—who were foot soldiers in the endless struggle for freedom, justice and equality. This document captures in words and pictures how the dream of two visionaries changed the course of American history. For ages 9+.

15th Annual PCC Young African American Males Conference

Friday, Feb. 9 • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. • Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd.

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.

The Black Panther Party Strategies for Organizing the People Around Health
Friday, Feb. 9
• 3 p.m. • Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.

Norma Stoker-Mtume MHS, MA MFT has been an ardent advocate of various 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 Berkley, 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+.

Praise Dance with Jai Wright
Thursday, Feb. 15 • 4:30 p.m. • La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

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!

42nd Annual Black History Parade and Festival – Past-Present-Future “Celebrating The Life & Legacy Of” Jackie Robinson

Saturday, Feb. 17 • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. • Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave.

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 Marshals Danny Bakewell Jr., Pastor Emeritus William Turner Jr. and Youth Grand Marshal the Queen and Court of the Tournament of Roses and many other parade performers. The festival features live bands, dance performances, community booths, food for purchase, and tons of fun!

Artist Reception
Saturday, Feb. 17
  • 3 p.m. • Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.
Join us for an afternoon reception for featured photographer Alfred Haymond. Mingle with fellow art lovers and enjoy the artist’s artwork with the artist himself! Light refreshments will be provided.

Pasadena Senior Night Celebration

Friday, Feb. 23 • 6-9:30 p.m. • Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly St.

Join us for a night of music, entertainment, dancing, socializing, and fabulous Soul Food. Cost $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, please call (626) 744-7300. For ages 50+.

Black Education Expo

Saturday, Feb. 24 • – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. • Lake Avenue Church, 292 N. Lake Ave.

Located at the Family Life Center at Lake Avenue Church. This free K-12 event is where the latest education and resources 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 at or call the Black Education Expo Team at (323) 475-6293. Follow @blackeducationexpo on Instagram for event updates.

Black Mexico: The African Heritage in Mexico
Saturday, Feb. 24
• 1 p.m. • Lamanda Park Branch Library, 140 S. Altadena Dr.

Dr. Gloria Arjona will focus on understanding 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+.

Black Women in World War II: “Greatness Under Fire”

Saturday, Feb. 24 • 4 p.m. • Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.

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, followed by Red Ball Express: Greatness Under Fire in 2020 and most recently Black Women in WWll: 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. Join us to learn more about Brizill’s latest book. For ages 13+. To attend, sign up at

Observations in Black, 8th Edition

Feb. 1 – 29Mon.-Thur. • 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Fri. & Sat. • 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun. • 1 – 5 p.m. Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.
Artist Alfred Haymond is 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.”

The History of Black Mutual Aid Funds in the Pasadena Community
Feb. 1 – 29
Mon.-Sat. • 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. • La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

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.

Pasadena Black History Picture Walk
Feb. 1 – 29 • Jefferson Branch Library, 1500 E. Villa St.

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.

Support Black-Owned Businesses in Pasadena and Altadena
Feb. 1 – 29 •

During February and all year long, please support local Black-owned businesses. Visit 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, please fill out the online form.

People, Places, and Events Shaped by African-Americans
Feb. 1 – 29 •

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

Alkebu-lan Cultural Center Black History Celebrations

Feb. 1 – 24 • Alkebu-lan Cultural Center, 1425 N. Raymond Ave.

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


Eat the Culture: African Foodways and Tradition
Saturday, Feb. 3 • 10:30 a.m. • Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.

African cooking techniques, traditions and flavors have traveled all over the world. This culinary diaspora was shaped initially by the brutalities of the transatlantic slave trade, which forced African people separated from their homelands to retain and reinvent traditional dishes, find and experiment with substitute ingredients, and pass down to their children the cultural significance of particular foods to nourish the soul as well as the body. In this workshop, Chef Denà Brummer will share the delights, comforts, revelations and recipes of Black foodways. For ages 18+. To attend, sign up at

Pasadena Rose Poets: Black History Month Call and Response
Monday, Feb. 5
• 5 p.m. • Zoom

Join Pasadena Rose poets for their annual Black History Month Celebration with “Call and Response.” Enjoy familiar poems and discover new works. For ages 18+. To attend, sign up at

Celebration Stories
Wednesday, Feb. 7
• 10:30 a.m. • Santa Catalina Branch Library, 999 E. Washington Blvd.

Join us for a special storytime in celebration of Black History Month featuring children’s picture books written by Black authors. Stay to make a craft to take home! For ages 3-5 and their caregivers.

Research Your Past

Thursday, Feb. 8 • 4:30 p.m. • La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

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

Chocolate Storytime
Saturday, Feb. 10
• 3 p.m. • La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

Join us for 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.

Preserve Your Family Photos

Thursday, Feb. 22 • 4:30 p.m. • La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

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

Black History and Assemblage Art;
Saturday, Feb. 17
• 4 p.m. • Jefferson Branch Library, 1500 E. Villa St.

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 at

Celebrate Your Family History

Tuesday, March 23 • 11 a.m. • La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

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+.


Freedom Quilt Paper Craft
Feb. 1 – 10 • 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. • San Rafael Branch Library, 1240 Nithsdale Rd.

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: Basquiat: The Art and the Artist

Monday, Feb. 5 • While supplies last

Learn about famous African American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat then create your very own wearable Basquiat crown. Kits can be picked up at La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave. beginning Feb. 5. For ages 3-12.

Take & Make: Alma Woodsey Thomas Collage Bookmark

Tuesday, Feb. 12 • 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. This bookmark is a tribute to her 1968 work, “Untitled,” which you can see at the Museum of Modern Art in Los Angeles.

Reserve a kit at Sign-ups begin on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Kits can be picked up at Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.

Book Discussions
Join us for in-person and virtual book clubs led by the Library’s book experts.

For Adults
Ages 18+

Allendale Book Discussion
Saturday, Feb. 3 • 10:30 a.m. • Allendale Branch Library, 1130 S. Marengo Blvd.
Will discuss An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

Online Book Group
Saturday, Feb. 17 • 10:30 a.m. • Zoom

Will discuss By Her Own Design: A Novel of Ann Lowe, Fashion Designer ot the Social Register by Piper Huguley. Sign up for each program separately at

Octavia Butler Sci Fi Book Club
Saturday, Feb. 24 • 3 p.m. • La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

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

Stay connected to the City of Pasadena! Visit us online at; follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook; or call the Citizen Service Center Monday through Friday during business hours at (626) 744-7311.

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