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Ethnic History & Culture

Our Ethnic Heritage

U.S. Census Bureau of Los Angeles County
Unless we all start from the premise that we are innocently ignorant of the background and conditions of the rich cultures in our midst, and are challenged to rise to new levels of human understanding and humane relations, we suffer the possibility of engaging in insensitive or even discriminatory behaviors.

San Gabriel Valley and Diversity
The majority of people residing in the San Gabriel Valley are Hispanics and Asian Americans. The white population is smaller due to a mass exodus that occurred during much of the 1980s and 1990s. The remaining white population in the San Gabriel Valley resides primarily in the communities of Pasadena, Glendora, Monrovia, Sierra Madre, Charter Oak, and in the southern and eastern parts of Covina (the northern and western parts are increasingly Hispanic).

Black Heritage

Glimpses of Early Black History in Pasadena
The photos in this collection were provided to Pasadena Museum of History by families of early African-American settlers in Pasadena. Through these photos of individuals, groups, and places, we experience the presence of the African-American community from the mid-1880s through 1950.

A History of Black Americans in California
Although Afro-American people were comparatively few in number before World War II, they were settled throughout the state and made significant contributions to its development and growth. National Park Service.


Pacific Asia Museum
Established in 1971, the museum is one of only four U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands, serving the city of Los Angeles and the Greater Southern California region. The museum’s mission is to further intercultural understanding through the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

History of Asians in the San Gabriel Valley
A historical overview of one of America's "most Asian" regions.

Angel Island: Immigrant Journeys of Chinese-Americans
Between 1910 and 1940, there were as many as 175,000 Chinese immigrants detained and processed at Angel Island, San Francisco Bay, California. Unlike Ellis Island in New York's harbor, Angel Island is a visible reminder of a shameful period in U.S. immigration history.

Your one-stop information source on the historical, political, demographic, and cultural issues that make up today's diverse Asian American community. You can almost think of Asian-Nation as an online version of ''Asian Americans 101.''

A History of Chinese Americans in California
Amid the increased numbers of Chinese immigrants in recent years, it should be remembered that not all Chinese Americans are recent arrivals.

Germans & Swiss

Johann August Sutter
General Sutter, as he was generally known, was forced to flee his creditors in Switzerland at the age of 30. Ten years later, in California, he was the "ruler of the Sacramento Valley, founder of New Helvetia, a small sovereign." After the discovery of gold on his land, he lost everything.


A History of Mexican Americans in California
The roots of the Chicano experience stretched back some three centuries to 1519 when Spaniards and their Indian allies carried out the conquest of the Aztec Empire in central Mexico and established what they called "New Spain." National Park Service.


John's California Irish History Page
It is fashionable today, in some circles, to ignore, or at least minimize, the contributions of anyone from Europe. My intent is to point out, in a small way, how important the Irish were to the development of this state.


History of Little Tokyo, Los Angeles
Little Tokyo, officially comprising 67 acres designated by the City of Los Angeles as the Little Tokyo Redevelopment Project, serves as an international center for tourists while maintaining the intimate character of a small town with places to shop, to eat and most importantly, to live. Its educational, cultural and religious institutions unify Southern California's Japanese American community. And its buildings, museums and public art preserve memories of over a century of social and economic change, during which the Nikkei (people of Japanese ancestry) fashioned their individual and collective identities while struggling and finally succeeding in becoming accepted as Americans.

Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles
The National Museum strives to create a unique learning environment that enhances classroom activities and provides rich experiences that spark a passion for lifelong learning in the minds of young people. As a vital part of this process, teachers are our most valuable partners, and we are committed to creating meaningful and dynamic teaching resources for them.

A History of Japanese Americans in California
How the National Park Service selects sites to show the history and contributions of Japanese in our state. A site both to find history and directions to historic sites.

Native Americans

San Gabriel Valley Gabrielinos
Also known as the Tongva, Gabrielinos had migrated from the Oregon/Utah Great Basin and by 500 A.D. were the dominant people here. They remained so until Portolá showed up.

Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe
The Gabrielino-Tongva are one of two state-recognized tribes and the best documented tribe in the State without federal recognition.

Los Angeles American Indian Resource Center
This page shows all of the local tribes in the Los Angeles area.