In a historic move celebrated by reparations advocates and social justice leaders across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has authorized the return of property known as Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of a Black couple that had been run out of Manhattan Beach almost a century ago.
Senate Bill 796, signed into law Thursday by Newsom, confirms that the city’s taking of this shorefront land — on which the Bruces ran a thriving resort for Black beachgoers — was racially motivated and done under false and unlawful pretenses.
“As governor of California, let me do what apparently Manhattan Beach is unwilling to do: I want to apologize to the Bruce family.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom
“The land in the City of Manhattan Beach, which was wrongfully taken from Willa and Charles Bruce, should be returned to their living descendants,” the legislation reads, “and it is in the public interest of the State of California, the County of Los Angeles, the City of Manhattan Beach, and the People of the State of California to do so.”
“My heart, my spirit, my soul has been in this from the beginning. … This took audacious courage. I am empowered to continue that audacious courage as I move forward in helping other Black families obtain restorative and reparative justice.”
Kavon Ward, who has championed cause through her grass-roots movement Justice for Bruce’s Beach
The view from Sacramento
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