If you haven’t heard yet, than you feel it doesn’t apply to you, or you been living under a rock but Bruces Beach has been returned to its rightful owners, the decedents of the family. This is a huge step in the right for directions for other families displaced and robbed of generational wealth by the **cough**racism**cough, damn that COVID.
An African American couple named Charles and Willa Bruce, owned this land a century ago. The couple built a beachfront resort called Bruce’s Beach Lodge in 1912 and welcomed Black beachgoers with a restaurant, a dance hall, and changing tents with bathing suits for rent.
But the Bruces were run out of Manhattan Beach and forced to shut down their successful resort. Their property was seized by the city, and they lost their fortune. For years, the land was owned by the county of Los Angeles — until last month, when California passed a law that allowed the property to be transferred back to the couple’s descendants.
By 1924, Manhattan Beach city officials invoked eminent domain, claiming the city would build a public park over 30 lots, including the Bruces’ land and four other lots owned by African American families.
A group called the Land Loss and Reparations Research Project, which is trying to put an economic value on agricultural land unjustly taken from Black farmers over the last hundred years.
“Our research team has come up with a preliminary estimate of $300 billion,” Mitchell says, noting that it only accounts for the farm land itself. “We’re also going further and saying that as a result of losing this land, we lost the ability to benefit from the land ownership in terms of families getting loans to send their children to college, which then has a negative impact on economic mobility — and that’s just Black farmers.”
The historic Bruce’s Beach case is inspiring social justice leaders and reparations activists to fight for other Black families whose ancestors were also victims of land theft in the United States.Article continues after sponsor message.