In 1924, the town of Manhattan Seashore used eminent area to pressure Willa and Charles Bruce off their land the place they lived and ran a resort for Black households. The Bruces have been among the many first Black landowners within the metropolis.
The land is now owned by Los Angeles County and homes the county’s lifeguard headquarters and coaching heart.
The story of racial injustice shocked L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn and now she’s exploring what will be accomplished to proper the mistaken.
“I am contemplating, to begin with, giving the property again to the Bruce household,” Hahn tells Eyewitness Information. “I believe that will be the one act that will actually be justice for that household. I wished the county of Los Angeles to be part of righting this horrible mistaken.”
The seashore on Highland Avenue at twenty seventh Road was a resort for Black households who got here to benefit from the seashore till it was taken away. Anthony Bruce, one of many household’s final dwelling direct descendants of the household, says the seizure robbed him of his household’s legacy.
“It was a mistaken towards the Bruce household,” says Anthony Bruce. “I believe we’d be rich Individuals nonetheless dwelling there in California… Manhattan Seashore in all probability.”
Supervisor Hahn says there’s additionally an choice of leasing the property from the Bruce household so the county’s lifeguard constructing can stay on the location. Or the Bruce household could possibly be paid reparations for what they misplaced.
Manhattan Seashore resident Kavon Ward has been petitioning and elevating consciousness concerning the historical past of Bruce’s Seashore.
“They should pay for the stripping of generational wealth,” says Kavon Ward. “This household may have been rich, they might have handed on wealth to different relations. Manhattan Seashore may have been extra culturally numerous… there would have been extra black folks right here.”
Then there’s the matter of the seashore itself. A Manhattan Seashore metropolis activity pressure is sending the total Metropolis Council new suggestions, together with a decision of apology and creating a brand new commemorative plaque with wording that will prominently acknowledge the pioneering Bruce household as an alternative of the unique white land proprietor.
Ward says the difficulty is way deeper than a plaque.
“This activity pressure and members of Manhattan Seashore reside on this type of bubble of white supremacy and white fragility and I really feel like it is time to penetrate that bubble,” says Ward. “It is time for this bubble to be popped.”
Hahn says the time could also be proper for the county to take motion to right historical past.
“We are actually on this nation lastly assembly this second,” says Supervisor Hahn. “And there are loads of talks about reparations, monetary restitutions being made to African Individuals on this nation.”
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