Almost 100 years after the government acquired the land, the land was returned.
This week, the Los Angeles Oversight Committee unanimously approved the transfer of beachfront real estate, known as Bruce Beach, to the descendants of former owners Willa and Charles Bruce.
Bruce bought a small corner of Los Angeles in 1912 and built the first black resort on the west coast at a time when isolated beaches were commonplace. Guardian reported.. In 1924, after relentless harassment of racist neighbors and the failure of the Ku Klux Klan to push out the Bruce-built community, the Manhattan Beach City Council blamed their part of the neighborhood for 20 through land expropriation. We have seized the above assets.
The area, which the council claimed at the time, was urgently needed for the park. LA Times reported.. It remained empty for decades, then moved to the state, then to Los Angeles County, and eventually became the parking lot and guard training headquarters. The seizure ruined Bruce. Bruce worked as a canteen cook for the rest of his life.
On Tuesday, two lots of the long dead Bruce, today’s best waterfront real estate, were given to the couple’s great-grandchildren, Marcus and Derrick Bruce.
“My great-grandparents Willa and Charles Bruce were sacrificed to open a business that provided a place for blacks to get together and socialize. Manhattan Beach robbed blacks of it because of their skin color. “That’s what family spokesman Anthony says. Bruce said in a statement, the Guardian reported. “It destroyed them financially. It destroyed their chances in the American dream.”
As part of the contract, the property will be rented to the county for two years and will require maintenance of operating and maintenance costs in addition to an annual rent of $ 413,000. The county also maintains the right to buy back land for less than $ 20 million.
“We can’t change the past and we can’t make up for the injustices that were committed to Willa and Charles Bruce a century ago, but this is the beginning,” said Janice Hahn of the Los Angeles County Commission. Supervisor. “This may be the first land return of that kind, but it can’t be the last.”