Justice has been done! No matter how long it takes, never stop fighting for what you believe, even if it takes decades! History was made in California yesterday when Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that returned property known as Bruce Beach to the descendants of a black couple, Charles and Villa Bruce. According to the LA Times, the couple built the first West Coast resort for blacks in 1212 before fleeing Manhattan Beach nearly a century ago.
If you think about it, we reported on Bruce Beach in April because it caught the attention and it gave rise to Manhattan Beach’s predominantly white city controversy. The area is reported to have less than one percent black population. Attention worked because on Thursday, Governor Newsom spoke in front of the crowd while on the property, confirming that the city had seized the land because of racism and pretending to be false and illegal. Through Bill 796, he decided to make the wrong mistake.
Bill 796, which was passed unanimously in the state legislature this month, includes an emergency clause that would allow Los Angeles County, which currently owns the property, to begin the process of land transfer immediately. The law declares, “The land in the city of Manhattan Beach, which was wrongly taken from Will and Charles Bruce, must be returned to their surviving descendants, and it is in the public interest of the state of California, Los Angeles County, Manhattan Beach City, and the people of the state of California to do so.”
With Bruce Beach now returning to its fair owners, Governor Newsom has suggested that the steps taken could start potential compensation. “I really believe it could be a catalyst,” Governor Newsom said. “What we are doing here today can be done elsewhere and replicated. There is an old proverb: once the mind expands, it never goes back to its original form.
Congratulations to the Bruce family!
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