Skip to Content

Forgotten Founders: The Hidden African Ancestry of Los Angeles ~ Opens February 4th

4:34 PM PST on January 25, 2016


    At El Pueblo's Pico House
    424 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    February 4-29, 2016
    Opening Reception: February 4 at 6:00 p.m.
    Exhibit Open Tuesdays-Sundays: 10:00 a.m - 3:00 p.m.
    Free Admission

    In 1781, a group of forty-four diverse individuals traveled north to found the City of Los Angeles. Largely forgotten, twenty-six of these city founders could trace their heritage to Africa. During its one month installment at the historic Pico House, this exhibit highlights the incredible racial and ethnic diversity of Los Angeles from its founding through the present day.

    ​During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the sparse population of New Spain’s Northern frontier was comprised of an intermixed community of indigenous peoples, Africans, and Europeans. Due to the region’s multifaceted racial mixtures, Spanish colonists created the casta system, a complex racial classification system. Los Angeles’ first families reflected the complicated racial backgrounds and classifications of New Spain during this period.

    In order to settle the new pueblo of Los Angeles, Alta California’s lieutenant governor began recruiting from New Spain’s diverse population. According to the pueblo’s founding documents, people from a variety of racial backgrounds, including mestizo, negro, mulato, and indio, were enticed by promises of land grants in the new settlement of Los Angeles. As a result, the group that arrived in Southern California in the summer of 1781 included Pablo Rodriguez and his wife Rosalina María, who both identified as indios, as well as Luis Manuel Quintero and his wife María Petra, who identified as negro and mulata respectively. As a result, Los Angeles, today one of the world’s most ethnically and racially diverse cities, arose from a small group of settlers who traced their lineage to Spanish, African, and indigenous roots.

    More info here.

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from L.A. TACO

    The 11 Best Backyard Restaurants in Los Angeles

    Despite many requests to publish this guide, L.A. TACO has been somewhat protective of these gems to not "burn out the spots." However, we wanted to share it with our small, loyal pool of paid members, as we appreciate your support (and know you to be okay, non-NARCs). Please enjoy responsibly and keep these 'hood secrets...secrets.

    April 18, 2024

    Here’s What an L.A. TACO Membership Gets You and Why You Should Support Local Journalism

    With more than 30 members-only perks at the best L.A. restaurants, breweries, and dispensaries waiting to be unlocked, the L.A. TACO membership pays for itself!

    April 17, 2024

    What To Eat This Weekend: Cannabis-Infused Boat Noodles, Thai Smashburgers, and “Grass & Ass”

    Plus, a pizza festival and a respected chef from Toluca, Mexico comes to Pasadena to consult for a restaurant menu, including enchiladas divorciadas, and more.

    April 12, 2024

    Facing ‘Immediate Layoffs,’ L.A. TACO Launches Membership Drive to Save Our Publication

    After Sunday, we do not have enough money to make another payroll. We need 5,000 members to become sustainable. Our deadline is April 26th to hit this goal.

    April 12, 2024
    See all posts