Seized Property: African American Family Receives Deed 100 Years Later

Nearly a century after a seaside property was seized from its Black owners, the deed to Bruce’s Beach has been formally returned to the heirs of Willa and Charles Bruce.

Earlier this week, Anthony Bruce—the great-great-grandson of the original Manhattan Beach land owners—was presented with an official deed marking the transfer of land by Dean Logan, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder.

the event was the final step in transferring Bruce’s Beach from Los Angeles County back into the hands of the family heirs.

“This transfer will allow the Bruce family to realize generational wealth, which they have been denied for generations simply because they were black in America,” said State Sen. Steven Bradford, who authored the state bill that allowed the land to be transferred back to the Bruce family.

Speaking at the ceremony where he was presented with the deed, he said: “Thank you so much. Without God, we would not be here today. And finally, most importantly, thank you all.”

The county will continue to use the land as per a 24-month lease agreement at a cost of $413,000 annually.

The county will also take care of operation and maintenance costs. The agreement includes a clause that allows the county to purchase the land at a later date for $20 million.

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