Bruce’s Seaside, an oceanfront property in Southern California that was taken from Black homeowners within the Jim Crow period and returned to their descendants final yr, will probably be offered again to Los Angeles County for almost $20 million, county officers stated Tuesday.
Members of the family of the unique landowners, Willa and Charles Bruce, have knowledgeable the county of their choice to promote Bruce’s Seaside, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Hahn stated in an announcement. It’s unclear when the sale will probably be accomplished.
“The seizure of Bruce’s Seaside almost a century in the past was an injustice inflicted upon not simply Willa and Charles Bruce however generations of their descendants who virtually definitely would have been millionaires,” Hahn stated within the assertion.
The Bruce household obtained the official deed final yr, 98 years after the property was taken by the town of Manhattan Seaside and after efforts from kinfolk, activists and native officers.
Willa and Charles Bruce bought the land in 1912 for $1,225 and constructed a number of amenities, together with a restaurant and altering rooms. The resort grew to become a preferred vacationer attraction that provided Black households a spot to benefit from the California life, however the household confronted intimidation and racial threats from White neighbors and the Ku Klux Klan.
In 1924, Manhattan Seaside took the property citing eminent area and paid the couple a fraction of what they requested for. The Bruces left and died simply 5 years later.
Bruce’s Seaside is now a park with a garden and lifeguard coaching facility.
In 1995, the property was transferred to Los Angeles County and lately, county officers started taking steps to return the land to the household. These efforts led to California Gov. Gavin Newsom signing a 2021 laws to permit for the return of the property to Bruce’s descendants.
Final yr, the official deed marking the switch of the land was given to the household.
Hahn stated she fought arduous to return the property to the Bruce household as a result of she “needed to proper this mistaken,” and helps their choice.
“That is what reparations appear to be and it’s a mannequin I hope governments throughout the nation will observe,” Hahn stated within the assertion.