Return of Bruce’s Beach Could Chart Path for Reparations in California

52 min
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A photo of Charles and Willa Bruce stands above a plaque that tells the history of Bruce's Beach
A photo of Charles and Willa Bruce stands above a plaque at Bruce's Beach on April 20, 2021 in Manhattan Beach, California. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Prime coastline property in Los Angeles County known as Bruce’s Beach could be returned to descendants of its early 20th century Black owners if a state senate bill approved this week becomes law. In the 1920s, the Manhattan Beach City Council seized the beachfront land from Willa and Charles Bruce, who endured years of brutal harassment by white neighbors and the KKK. Its return could be a model for reparations in the state and comes as California’s new reparations task force convenes. We’ll talk about the history of Bruce’s Beach and its significance amid broader efforts to compensate Black Californians for historical injustices.

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Guests:

Duane Yellow Feather Shepard, a descendant of the Bruce family; clan chief, Pocasset Wampanoag Nation

Steven Bradford, state senator, California Senate District 35; author, Senate Bill 796; chair, California Legislative Black Caucus

Kavon Ward, founder, Justice for Bruce's Beach

Lisa Holder, Los Angeles-based civil rights attorney; Of Counsel, Equal Justice Society; recent appointee; California's reparations task force

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