LA County Works to Return Manhattan Beach Property to Descendants of Black Couple White Supremacy Stole it From


Explore Our Galleries

A man stands in front of the Djingareyber mosque on February 4, 2016 in Timbuktu, central Mali. 
Mali's fabled city of Timbuktu on February 4 celebrated the recovery of its historic mausoleums, destroyed during an Islamist takeover of northern Mali in 2012 and rebuilt thanks to UN cultural agency UNESCO.
African Peoples Before Captivity
Shackles from Slave Ship Henrietta Marie
Kidnapped: The Middle Passage
Enslaved family picking cotton
Nearly Three Centuries Of Enslavement
Image of the first black members of Congress
Reconstruction: A Brief Glimpse of Freedom
The Lynching of Laura Nelson_May_1911 200x200
One Hundred Years of Jim Crow
Civil Rights protest in Alabama
I Am Somebody! The Struggle for Justice
Black Lives Matter movement
NOW: Free At Last?
#15-Beitler photo best TF reduced size
Memorial to the Victims of Lynching
hands raised black background
The Freedom-Lovers’ Roll Call Wall
Frozen custard in Milwaukee's Bronzeville
Special Exhibits
Dr. James Cameron
Portraiture of Resistance

Breaking News!

Today's news and culture by Black and other reporters in the Black and mainstream media.

Ways to Support ABHM?

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 Manhattan Beach Pier, Nov. 2019, for the “Photowalks” series

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….

Read the full article here.

Learn about the history of free black community.

More Breaking News here.

Comments Are Welcome

Note: We moderate submissions in order to create a space for meaningful dialogue, a space where museum visitors – adults and youth –– can exchange informed, thoughtful, and relevant comments that add value to our exhibits.

Racial slurs, personal attacks, obscenity, profanity, and SHOUTING do not meet the above standard. Such comments are posted in the exhibit Hateful Speech. Commercial promotions, impersonations, and incoherent comments likewise fail to meet our goals, so will not be posted. Submissions longer than 120 words will be shortened.

See our full Comments Policy here.


  1. Brigette Watts on August 31, 2021 at 11:05 PM

    I think this is wonderful. This is happened to so many of us. My great-grandfather who owned plenty of land and Dallas county Alabama it was stolen from his family at the time of his death. And even in recent years and the two thousand 9 I believe a third cousin went to Alabama to start the proceedings to have our land returned to us he was murdered turn off a bluff and not one eyewitness would not come forth. It was my father’s dying wish that I and my sister find a way to get the land returned to us the Smith family. But without money and safety in Alabama I have no idea how to do that. Sometime between 2004 2005 they did return part of the land we’re a church and a graveyard sets I believe because it is haunted from the stories we were told. Thank you for this article

Leave a Comment