LA County officially surrenders deed for Bruce's Beach land to descendants of original Black owners

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County officials formally presented the deed to a portion of Manhattan Beach property to the descendants of a Black family who had the land taken away nearly a century ago.

“It is my honor to be here and present a certified copy to the family,” said L.A. County registrar-recorder and county clerk Dean Logan during Wednesday’s ceremony.

Eyewitness News was in attendance for the moment Logan handed the official deed the descendants of the Bruce family.

READ ALSO | Manhattan Beach confronting racist past symbolized by battle over ‘Bruce’s Beach’

“Thank you so much,” said Anthony Bruce, a great-great grandson of Willa and Charles Bruce, was among the family members on hand for Wednesday’s ceremony. “Without God, we would not be here today. And finally, most importantly, thank you all. God bless.”

Willa and Charles Bruce bought the land in 1912 and built a resort catering to Black residents.

The Bruces became a target, however, and were harassed by their white neighbors and the Klu Klux Klan.

“My family declared that this was sacred land, and I was going to do everything I could to get it back,” said Chief Duane “Yellowfeather” Shepard, another member of the Bruce family at Wednesday’s ceremony.
Eventually, the city of Manhattan Beach seized the property in 1924 using eminent domain and claimed it was to build a park.

Supervisor Janice Hahn started the process to return the property to the Bruce family two years ago.

“Today, we are sending a message to every government in this nation confronted with this same challenge. This work is no longer unprecedented,” she said.

The section of the property closest to the beach, including the lots owned by the Bruce family, was owned by the state and it took a new law, Senate Bill 796, which was sponsored by California State Senator Steven Bradford, to transfer it to the family.

“SB 796 and this transfer of land will not reverse an injustice that took place almost 100 years ago, but it represents an old step in the right direction,” he said Wednesday.

Under the agreement, the county will lease a lifeguard station that’s currently on the property from the Bruce family for about $400,000 a year.

The agreement also includes a provision that would allow the Bruces to later sell the property to the county for $20 million.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.

You May Also Like

Billy Packer, NCAA basketball broadcaster, dies at 82

Billy Packer, NCAA basketball broadcaster, dies at 82 – CBS News Watch…

Novak Djokovic breaks his silence on father’s photo with Vladimir Putin flag at the Australian Open

‘It has got to me’: Novak Djokovic insists his father was ‘misused’…

Paul Pelosi video released by San Francisco judge

Warning: Graphic and explicit video SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Footage of the…

Judge: Colorado supermarket shooting suspect unfit for trial

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A man charged with killing 10 people at…

Protests erupt across US as video shows ‘heinous’ deadly police beating

Protests broke out across the country late Friday after the release of…

Isles Lab is a game-changer for New York Islanders fans

Check this: When Long Island-raised singer Madison Beer did a T-shirt toss…

T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach will not return to “GMA” following reports of a romantic relationship, network says

T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach will not return to their positions as…

Meta Partners With BuzzFeed to Create Content. Since It's BuzzFeed, Expect More Garbage

The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily…

Video of Paul Pelosi attack released, showing suspect swinging a hammer at him

Video and audio of the violent October attack on Paul Pelosi, the…

Setsuo Ito’s former Hamptons home hitting auction block

Auctions in the Hamptons are as rare as this home, created as…

Alabama Human Trafficking Summit brings awareness to modern-day slavery

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — During the 9th annual Human Trafficking Summit, advocates…

Video of Tyre Nichols’ violent arrest by Memphis police expected to be released Friday

Officials in Memphis are expected on Friday to release police body camera…