A seaside property seized from a black family in Southern California almost a century ago Returned to family descendantsWith a welcome move as a milestone in the fight for compensation and the return of land stolen from colored races.
In 1912, Willa and Charles Bruce purchased land on Manhattan Beach, a seaside suburb of Los Angeles, and operated for and by black residents despite harassment and violence from white neighbors. Transformed into a prosperous resort.
However, in the 1920s, the Manhattan Beach City Council allegedly used land expropriation to acquire land from Bruce and use it as a park. Still, the land was unused for years until it was moved to the state in 1948.
This week, the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce saw California Governor Gavin Newsom, including the great-grandchildren of the couple, sign a law permitting the transfer of ownership of a property known as Bruce Beach to their families. rice field.
Newsum apologized for how the land was acquired before the couple’s six descendants attended and signed the bill at a ceremony on Thursday.
“There are other families waiting for the day,” Willa and Charles Bruce’s cousin Patricia Bruce told The Associated Press.
A law unanimously approved by state legislators was needed to allow the initiation of a complex legal process to transfer ownership of Blues Beach. LA County authorities moved to return valuable property to their descendants earlier this year, giving them wealth that they had been denied for generations.
of Recent interview Along with the Guardian, 38-year-old great-grandson Anthony Bruce called the return of property a “long-deferred calculation.”
“For me and subsequent generations, this means inheritance, and the internal security of knowing that I’m coming from somewhere and that I’m coming from people.”
In the midst of rampant racism, hate crimes and intimidation, Bruce built the first West Coast resort for blacks. Located in one of Southern California’s most iconic beaches with millions of dollars of homes, it had lodges, cafes, dance halls and dressing tents.
“The journey here has never been easier,” said Kabonward, a black resident who learned about the history of the property and founded Bruce Beach’s justice.
Ward also co-founded Where Is My Land, an organization that aims to return and seek the return of land stolen from African Americans. The organization is considering several other unspecified projects, including one in California, to see if that goal is possible.
Janice Hahn, the county overseer who led the government’s push to transfer the land, said heirs would almost certainly be millionaires if the property were not acquired.
“The law was used to steal this property 100 years ago, and today’s law returns it,” Hahn said.
Bruce could have become another of Southern California’s leading entrepreneurs, like the Getty family, who made a name for themselves in oil wealth and art collections, according to Newsom.
Bruce’s property along the south coast of Santa Monica Bay contains two parcels. The county’s Lifeguard Training Headquarters building is now there along a scenic beach walkway lined with luxurious homes overlooking the beach.
According to the city’s website, the population of Manhattan Beach is 84% white and 0.8% black. This year, the city council officially condemned the efforts of its predecessors in the early 20th century to expel Bruce and several other black families.
Meanwhile, the county outlined the steps needed to proceed with the transfer, including assessing the value of the parcel and finding ways to reduce the tax burden on the heirs.
Patricia Bruce, 65, of Hawthorne, said the family had not yet decided what to do with the property.
Bruce’s Beach is returned to a black family 100 years after the city’stolen it by law’ | California
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