Beachfront Bought By Black Couple 97 Years Ago Returned To Family
Believe it or not, nearly a century ago an African American couple purchased property in Manhattan Beach, California in 1912. They built an oceanfront resort 97 years ago called Bruce's Beach, for African American members of the community to enjoy the beach. Charles and Willa Bruce were the first Black landowners in the city and certainly the first to own ocean-view property. For 12 years they had a thriving business, until the Klan forced them out and city officials seized their land.
For years descendants of Bruce and Willa have been leading a campaign to have their family beachfront property returned. On June 2, the Bruce family finally received the news they had been waiting a long time to hear, that the city had approved a bill to return their Manhattan Beach land! The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously, 5-0, to return the stretch of beachfront property to the Bruce family descendants. Willa and Charles Bruce purchased their land on Manhattan Beach for $1,225 and today it is worth $20 million!