On August 5, 2021, we wrote about “Bruce’s Beach” in Manhattan Beach, California.
The blog stated that “It was a destination where black tourists could swim, dance, eat and rest.
The City claimed that it needed the property for a public park, but left it undeveloped.
Manhattan Beach has been grappling with the history of Bruce’s Beach for years.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to begin the process of transferring the property to the descendants of Charles and Willa Bruce. Returning Bruce’s Beach to the family that first developed the land is part of California’s broader push toward reckoning with its checkered past.
On October 4, 2021, California’s Governor Newsom signed a bill that confirms the land belongs to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce.
At the bill signing, Governor Newsom said, “I want to apologize to the Bruce family for the injury that was done to them. We haven’t always had a proud past.”
The land was purchased by the Bruce family in 1912, and became home to a lodge, café, dance hall and place to rent swimsuits for a trip to the beach. However, systemic racism led to the family downfall.