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Manhattan Beach (Los Angeles) Land RETURNED to Black Descendants


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A black family whose ancestors built a seaside resort near Los Angeles a century ago, only to have it taken from them by 'racist policies', will have the land returned, officials announced on Friday.

Los Angeles County plans to return prime beachfront property in Manhattan Beach that could now be worth more than $72 million to descendants of the black couple, Willa and Charles Bruce, who built a seaside resort for African Americans.

The story of the Bruce family caught the eye of a Los Angeles county supervisor who earlier this year started looking into what could be done to make things right, according to ABC.

The site, known as Bruce Beach, now has a county lifeguard training headquarters building on the property. It is along some of the most coveted coastline in Southern California.

The property encompasses two parcels purchased in 1912 by the Bruces, who built the first West Coast resort for black people at a time when segregation barred them from many beaches. They built a lodge, café, dance hall and dressing tents with bathing suits for rent. Initially it was known as Bruce's Lodge.

The Bruces and their customers were harassed by white neighbors, and the Ku Klux Klan attempted to burn it down.

Charles Bruce was often out of town, working as a dining car chef on trains to Salt Lake City, so it was Willa Bruce who bought the property and handled much of the business at the resort. She had purchased for $1,225 the first of two lots along the Strand between 26th and 27th streets.

'Wherever we have tried to buy land for a beach resort, we have been refused,' she told The Los Angeles Times in 1912.

'But I own this land and I am going to keep it.'

The Manhattan Beach City Council finally used eminent domain to take the land away from the Bruces in the 1920s, purportedly for use as a park.

Charles and Willa Bruce moved to Manhattan Beach from New Mexico with their son, Harvey, and bought land in 1912

Bruce's Beach and resort ran by the Bruces soon became a popular destination for black Americans, barred from other areas

Bruce Beach is seen in the 1920s, when the land was owned by a black couple, Charles and Willa Bruce

A couple in their 1920s swimming attire relaxed at Bruce's Beach at a time when few beaches in the area allowed blacks

The Bruce descendants will reclaim the lot, and will be able to lease it to the city if they wish

The beach today can be seen as a relatively empty space amid a sea of development along Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles

The Manhattan Beach seafront lot was renamed Bruce's Beach in 2006, after its original owners

Janice Hahn is the member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who heard about the family's plight and decided to do something about it. Duane Shepard, a spokesman for the descendants, said that the forced sale of the land was a 'scar' on his family's history

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I am certain our ancestors are rejoicing over the return of stolen land to this family. They have stolen from each and every one of our families, no matter our country of origin. May this and the next generation of the Bruces family continue to build wealth from this land.
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I am happy about this news. I can’t help but think “I hope the descendants are still black”.

Yes ma'am:




PJ Rehabilitation Center
When we think of all the wealth, knowledge and resources taken from us "all over the world" the lives lost, the falsely accused, the colonization, the experimentation, the degradation we have all suffered through the enactment of laws and policies that were written against us all over the world designed to keep us broken and dependent - for the benefit of a few.