Descendants of Black-Owned Beach at War Over Decision to Sell it Back to County for $20M

A family is split in two over the decision to sell a historic Los Angeles beach property.

After a decision was made by the heirs of Charles and Willa Bruce to resell the Black-owned land Bruce’s Beach, back to Los Angeles County, some descendants objected to that decision.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the Bruce family would be selling two parcels of their Manhattan Beach property back to the county for nearly $20 million, Daily Breeze reported.

However, family member Patricia Bruce, who said she was not involved in the sale, expressed disappointment over that decision, The Daily Mail reports.

“I really don’t think that Charles would have sold it,” Bruce said.

According to reports, Willa and Charles Bruce’s great-great grandsons, Marcus and Derrick Bruce, co-owned the property along with Derrick’s sons, Anthony and Michael, before reselling it.

When the city returned the property during a ceremony last July, Anthony said the initial seizure destroyed his grandparents’ financial legacy.

“It destroyed their chance at the American Dream,” Anthony told the Daily Mail. “I wish they could see what has happened today.”

Now things have changed.

The resale was announced via Twitter last week by the chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Janice Hahn. 

Stating she always advocated for the beach return, Hahn tweeted that the decision has always been about the Bruces.

“This fight has always been about what is best for the Bruce family, and they feel what is best for them is selling this property back to the county for nearly $20 million and finally rebuilding the generational wealth they were denied for nearly a century.”

On the contrary, in a statement released by the Bruce family, some members debated who actually advocated for the land’s return.

“We know that some envisioned that we might hold this piece of land and attempt to reestablish our family’s former enterprise,” the statement said via Daily Mail. “But we have chosen instead to look to the future.”

Although the family is feuding, news of the resale has given hope to other descendants of Black families with property taken away from them.