California poised to return $75 million beach resort to Black family — 97 years after Jim Crow stole it from them
Charles and Willa Bruce.

On Monday, CNN reported that officials in California are poised to correct a 97-year-old injustice, and return an oceanside resort in Manhattan Beach valued at $75 million to a Black family who had the property stripped from them by white city leaders in the 1920s.

"A century ago, a Black couple owned a beach resort in Manhattan Beach — a Southern California town known for its scenic expanse. An inviting soulful energy and the songs of Black entertainers radiated throughout the corridors of the dance hall and lodge," reported Alexandra Meeks. "But the music and good times would not last due to the strict racial segregation that dominated American life then. Harassment from White neighbors and the Ku Klux Klan tore away at the dreams of owners Charles and Willa Bruce. The final blow came in 1924 when the city took the property through eminent domain and paid the couple a fraction of what they asked for. The city wanted the land for a park. The Bruces left and died just five years later."

Now, according to the report, "Los Angeles County officials on Friday said they are working with state lawmakers on legislation that would return the property — worth perhaps $75 million — to the family." The proposed bill would exempt "Bruce's Beach" from normal restrictions on property transfers.

While the bill has broad support in the legislature, some locals are protesting the change, with one unidentified resident saying at L.A. County's news conference, "I've been lucky enough to live in this beautiful spot for over 50 years. I've never been discriminated against by this community, but it hurts me that the people here are trying to spoil what we have here." These comments were met with sharp pushback and anger.

Watch video, courtesy of FOX 11 Los Angeles, below:

Legislation introduced that would allow Bruce's Beach to be returned to descendants of Black family

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