LA County Works to Return Manhattan Beach Property to Descendants of Black Couple White Supremacy Stole it From
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By Zack Linley, The Root
When we talk about systemic racism in America, one aspect tends to get left out of the discussion: Black people are disproportionately poor because, historically, we’ve been blocked from achieving generational wealth. From the Tulsa race riots to Detroit’s Black Bottom, U.S. history is full of stories that involve white people sabotaging Black wealth and thriving Black communities. And yet, the subject of reparations remains a controversial issue tied exclusively to American slavery.
In Manhattan Beach, Calif., descendants of a Black couple who owned land that was basically stolen from them by white supremacists who didn’t believe Black people should own land might be receiving the property taken from their ancestors in order to right a historic wrong that occurred a century ago.
The Associated Press reports that Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member Janice Hahn is working to return two parcels of land in Manhattan Beach to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce, who built California’s first resort for Black people in 1912, at a time when beaches were segregated and white people would rather see negroes dead than to see them thrive in their own communities….
…The land that used to be “Bruce’s Lodge” went from being a place where Black people could go and exist in peace, to becoming vacant land that went unused for years before it was “transferred to the state of California in 1948 and in 1995 it was transferred to Los Angeles County for beach operations and maintenance,” AP reports.
The transfer to LA County came with restrictions that prohibit the sale or transfer of the property to anyone else, and now a change in state law is necessary in order for the property to go to the Bruce’s descendants….
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