California Lawmakers Move to Return Beach Seized From Black Couple

California lawmakers unanimously moved to return a beachfront property to descendants of a Black couple. 

This beach was formerly known as Bruce’s Beach and was purchased in 1912 by Willa and Charles Bruce. The Bruces built the resort for Black people during a time racial segregation restricted them from many beaches. Included was a lodge, café, dance hall and dressing tents with bathing suits for rent, AP News reported.  

“Bruce’s Beach became a place where Black families traveled from far and wide to be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of a day at the beach,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in April, back when the county announced its plans to return the property. 

The Ku Klux Klan attempted to burn the resort down and racist neighbors harassed the Bruces and their customers as well. Beachgoers experienced returning to their vehicles to find flat tires and fake “10 minutes only” parking spots were posted, according to a legislative analysis.  

Democratic Sen. Steven Bradford says the bill will “finally do the right thing, to undo a wrong committed by the city of Manhattan Beach and aided by the state and the county.” It “represents economic and historic justice and is a model of what reparations can truly look like,” he adds. 

The property seizure was condemned by council members in Manhattan Beach in April.

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