California returns land to descendants of original Black owners

California returns land to descendants of original Black owners
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California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomNewsom vows crackdown: Rail car looting like 'third-world country' These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 California bill would let children 12 and up get COVID-19 vaccine without parent's approval MORE (D) signed a bill on Thursday that will return a historic piece of land in Manhattan Beach to the descendants of a Black couple who owned it almost a century ago. 

The land, known as Bruce's Beach, was once a resort for Black beach visitors in the predominantly white city of Manhattan Beach, where Black people currently account for only 1 percent of the population, according to The Los Angeles Times

The beachfront land was taken from the Bruce family with racial, false and unlawful motivations, the Times said.


“As Governor of California, let me do what apparently Manhattan Beach is unwilling to do: I want to apologize to the Bruce family,” Newsom said, according to the Times, before passing his pen to Anthony Bruce, the great-great grandson of the land's original owners. 

California state Sen. Steven Bradford (D), who wrote the bill, added it should "set the tone for the future of reparations in California."

At the time of the Bruce family's original ownership of the land, the Ku Klux Klan reportedly burned nearby property owned by Black residents while white neighbors harassed the area's Black community, the Times reported. 

In 1924, city officials seized the land claiming it was urgently needed for a public park. The property was empty for decades before ownership was transferred to the state in 1948, the Times said. 

Anthony Bruce, who works as a security supervisor in Florida, told the Times talking about his family's beach property was painful. 

"We do thank God, because this is something that we’ve been praying for, for decades," he said to the Times. "Hopefully this is the start of a new beginning for us."