Los Angeles County officials are considering returning beachfront property to a Black family that it was taken from nearly a century ago. In 1924, Manhattan Beach used eminent domain to force the Bruce family off of their land. As a result, the Bruces were forced to give up their resort, which was used for Black families traveling to the area. Today, Los Angeles County owns the property and uses it for lifeguard training.
In order to resolve the situation, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn is weighing several options. Potential resolutions include returning the land to the family outright, issuing a payout to the Bruce family or leasing the property from them while continuing to use it for lifeguard training.
“I wanted the county of Los Angeles to be a part of righting this terrible wrong," Hahn said.
For nearly a century, the matter has stuck with the Bruce family. One of the family's last living direct descendants, Anthony Bruce, said the use of eminent domain legislature in 1924 robbed his family of their legacy.
“It was a wrong against the Bruce family,” Bruce told KTLA.
“I think we would be wealthy Americans still living there in California…Manhattan Beach probably.”
At this time, there is no timetable for when this would be resolved. In the meantime, the city of Manhattan Beach has put together their own task force to examine the matter. The group has already recommended that the city issue a formal apology and build a commemorative plaque honoring the family.
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