Beach taken from black owners in the Jim Crow era to be resold

One california The beach was taken from Black owners during the Jim Crow era, before being returned to their descendants last year, to be resold to Los Angeles County for up to $20 million.

On Tuesday, county officials confirmed that family members of the original landowner, Willa and Charles Brucenotified the county of their decision to sell Bruce’s Beach, according to CNN. However, it is not yet clear when the sale will be completed.

“An injustice done… to their descendants, who will almost certainly become millionaires.”

“The seizure of Bruce’s Beach nearly a century ago was an injustice not only to Willa and Charles Bruce but to their descendants, who will almost certainly become millionaires,” said Janice Hahn, Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement.

The Bruce family previously received an official deed for the beachfront property last year, after it was taken back by the city of Manhattan Beach following efforts from relatives, local officials and activists. .

The land was purchased by Willa and Charles Bruce in 1912 for $1,225, and the couple eventually built several facilities on the land, including a coffee shop and changing rooms.

The resort eventually became a popular tourist attraction for Black families, however, the Bruce family was mistreated by their White neighbors and the Ku Klux Klan. newspaper reported.

Property confiscated in 1924 by Manhattan Beach citing famous domain name

And just 12 years later, in 1924, Manhattan Beach took ownership of the property, paying Bruce a small sum compared to the value of the land, while citing the famous domain name.

A well-known domain is the process by which the government may seize private property with adequate compensation, but without the consent of the owner.

The Bruces eventually left the property and died just five years later.

Since then, the beach has been turned into a park, complete with a lifeguard training facility.

Then in 1995, the property was transferred to Los Angeles County, initiating a process that would eventually lead to county officials returning the land to the family.

“This is a form of compensation,” said the president of the LA County Board of Supervisors

In 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom backed those efforts and signed legislation authorizing the return of assets to Bruce’s descendants.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors President Janice Hahn also said she fought hard to return the land to Bruce’s family, because she “wanted to correct the mistake,” adding that “this is a form of compensation.” according to CNN.

“This is in the form of reparations and it’s a model that I hope governments across the country will follow,” Hahn said in the statement.


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