Manhattan Beach, California — Los Angeles County officials built a beach resort for African Americans on Wednesday, but were harassed and finally deprived of land almost a century ago by the heirs of a black couple in California. Presented a certificate to prime oceanfront real estate.
The event takes the final step in a complex effort to address the old mistakes that entrepreneurs Charles and Willa Bruce, now known as Bruce Beach, have suffered from resorts on the shores of the upscale city of Manhattan Beach. I marked it.
Against the backdrop of waves crashing against the sunny Manhattan Beach coastline, county registration director Dean Logan handed a certified copy of the land transfer to Bruce’s great-grandson Anthony Bruce.
Senator Steven Bradford, who drafted the state bill needed to allow the county to transfer land to heirs, said it would not reverse fraud.
“But it represents a bold step in the right direction,” he said. “This represents a template that other states should follow.”
The land was purchased by Bruce in 1912. They were racistly harassed by their white neighbors, and in the 1920s the Manhattan Beach City Council condemned the land and expropriated it. However, the city had no effect on the property and was transferred to California in 1948.
In 1995, the state transferred it to Los Angeles County, but further transfers were restricted. The county has built a lifeguard training headquarters on the premises. There is also a small parking lot at this headquarters.
Janice Hahn, a member of the county’s supervisory board, learned about the history of real estate, consulted with a county lawyer, and then began the complex process of returning real estate to Bruce’s heirs.
“They told me that nothing like this had ever been done,” she told the rally, adding that such a move was no longer unprecedented.
In addition to state law, the transfer required a board vote and a process to identify who should acquire the land.
The county finally determined that the great-grandchildren of Charles and Willa Bruce, Marcus and Derrick Bruce, were their legal heirs.
The great-grandchild has set up a company to own the property, and LA County has announced that it has agreed to rent the property to the county for 24 months, add all operating and maintenance costs to the annual rent of $ 413,000, and grant the county rights. did. Buy land for up to $ 20 million.