L.A. beachfront land taken from Black family returned

STORY: A case of racial injustice dating back a century was set right on Wednesday (July 20) when the deed to a stretch of prime Los Angeles beach real estate, once taken away from a Black couple, was returned to their great-grandsons.

At a ceremony to mark the return, Anthony Bruce said he hoped others would be inspired.

"I hope that many people are propelled to action because of this and that they understand that it does take a lot of grit, a lot of hard work, you've got to have your boots on the ground and you've got to be protesting if you really want to get this done."

While rare at the time, Bruce’s Beach was once a resort where Black people could enjoy the seaside despite the discrimination and segregation of early 20th century LA.

But owners Willa and Charles Bruce were forced off the land in 1924 when city officials from Manhattan Beach exercised government powers to transfer ownership of the land to the state and convert it for public use.

In this case - they claimed they would build a park.

Decades later activists and politicians determined the reason for the move was racism.

So they passed a law to hand the land back to the Bruces last year.

Kavon Ward is the founder of Justice For Bruce's Beach.

"This is something that's happened across this country and if the people in power really want to make amends for what they have done to Black people, this is the way to do it - return stolen land. I have close to 400 cases and I'm sure that's not all of them. The time is now. It's now."

The property now belongs to Marcus and Derrick Bruce - who said they will share the proceeds with their extended family.

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