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Los Angeles County considers return of Black family's land

Bruce's Beach
Posted at 10:43 AM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 19:44:12-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — UPDATE: Los Angeles County leaders have taken first steps toward returning prime beachfront property to descendants of a Black couple who built a resort for African Americans but had it taken away by local officials a century ago.

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to have the county CEO report back in 60 days on how the property can be returned and to sponsor state legislation to enable a transfer.

The former Bruce’s Beach in the city of Manhattan Beach is currently occupied by a county lifeguard building.

Willa and Charles Bruce bought the land in 1912 and built the first West Coast resort for Black people despite racist harassment. The city seized the land through eminent domain in the 1920s.


Los Angeles County leaders are expected to take initial votes on a proposal to give beachfront property to descendants of a Black couple who built a resort for African Americans but had it taken away by local city officials a century ago.

Two items before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday involve the former Bruce’s Beach in the city of Manhattan Beach that is currently occupied by a county lifeguard office.

One vote would instruct the county CEO to report back in 60 days with a plan for how to return the property. The second item would make the county a sponsor of state legislation that's necessary to enable a transfer.