Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Bill Returning Bruce’s Beach to Black Family

In Summary

A Black couple, Charles and Willa Bruce, were run out of their beach in 1924. 

A Black couple by the name of Willa and Charles Bruce bought property in the area once known as Bruce’s Beach. It allowed Black families to have opportunities they wouldn’t have on other beaches due to segregation. 

RELATED: California Lawmakers Move to Return Beach Seized From Black Couple

A century after having their property taken away from them, there is good news for the Bruce family.  

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill into law, known as Senate Bill 796, to return Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce. They were run out of Manhattan Beach because the city occupied their property via eminent domain, according to the Los Angeles Times

RELATED: California Governor Gavin Newsom Orders All Teachers to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The bill states, “The land in the City of Manhattan Beach, which was wrongfully taken from Willa and Charles Bruce, should be returned to their living descendants, and it is in the public interest of the State of California, the County of Los Angeles, the City of Manhattan Beach, and the People of the State of California to do so.” 

RELATED: Los Angeles County Returns $75 Million Land to Black Family

“To be here, not just for the descendants of the Bruce family, but for all of those families torn asunder because of racism all across this country and around the globe,” Newsom said. “This can be catalytic.” 

This moment validated the point made by people that the city’s taking of the land was influenced by racism. Previously, Bruce’s Beach was a successful resort for African Americans who love going to the beach, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

There has been a rise in the need for reparations and social justice in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in May 2020. 

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