MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA) — Legislation giving Bruce's Beach back to the family of its original owner now awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom's signature to become law.
California's legislature has approved a bill that will return a prime piece of Manhattan Beach property back to the Bruce family. The property, which had been turned into a resort that welcomed Black families, was taken from the Bruce family in the 1920s.
"We are one step away from correcting a century's old injustice," State Sen. Steven Bradford said in a statement. "The vote we took today is proof that it is never too late to do the right thing."
The Bruces were harassed by white neighbors and targeted by the KKK, leading the city of Manhattan Beach to seize the property through eminent domain, supposedly to build a park. However, a park never materialized at the site, and the property ended up in the hands of Los Angeles County.
The city placed a plaque at the site in 2006, telling the story of Bruce's Beach, and acknowledged and condemned the actions of nearly a century ago – but without an apology. Amid last year's racial justice upheaval prompted by the death of George Floyd, calls got louder for the property to be returned to the family. Los Angeles County officials in April came up with a plan to do just that.
The bill, SB 796, will also update the property's deed and exempt it from restrictions that date back to when the land was first transferred to the county. Newsom has until Oct. 10 to sign the bill.
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