In an attempt to right a historical wrong, California lawmakers have moved to return a Manhattan Beach property to the descendants of its rightful owners after nearly a hundred years.
In 1912, Willa and Charles Bruce, a Black couple, purchased the area and called it “Bruce’s Beach.” During an era of segregation, the Bruces wanted to create a safe vacation spot for Black people, and it became the first resort area designated for Black people on the West Coast. The Ku Klux Klan attempted to burn the resort down and white neighbors harassed the Bruces and visitors to the area. In 1924, Bruce’s Beach was seized by eminent domain, and its ownership was ultimately transferred to the state of California in 1948, before being handed over to Los Angeles County in 1995.
Los Angeles County lawmakers approved the property transfer on Thursday. However, the move still has to be approved by county supervisors. Democratic state Sen. Steven Bradford said the transfer will “undo a wrong committed by the city of Manhattan Beach and aided by the state and the county.” He added that the move “is a model of what reparations can truly look like.”