A Win For Us! Manhattan Beach Votes To Host Juneteenth Celebrations in 2024

Manhattan Beach will be the place to be next summer.

Starting with Juneteenth, the Daily Breeze reports the beach and other city sites will host celebrations as early as 2024. With a recent vote of 5-0, according to Easy Reader News, the city council says the Parks and Recreation Commission will plan events for Juneteenth at Bruce’s Beach, California’s once-only Black-owned beach, commemorating the end of Black Americans’ enslavement.

The discussion started after the idea was proposed to host an event for African American independence day around Bruce’s Beach Park. The council decided not to limit the city to that, suggesting a challenging and time-constrictive option. It also gives them more time to streamline the event process so things don’t get out of hand and navigate through the history of the beach.

MANHATTAN BEACH, CA – JULY 20: Anthony Bruce and wife Sandra Bruce (R) watch as members of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy perform during a ceremony to return ownership of Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of a Black family who had the land stripped from them nearly a century ago on July 20, 2022 in Manhattan Beach, California (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)


In 2021, the beach was owned by the city of Los Angeles, but it once belonged to Willa and Charles Bruce, a Black couple who operated a seaside resort for Black people on two parcels below the land, later known as Bruce’s Beach Park. Activist Kavon Ward hosted Juneteenth events in 2020 and had an even larger one the following year. This was the same year the council reinforced a special events policy from 2018, discouraging large-scale events at small parks, including Bruce’s.

There have been mixed reviews from residents regarding the beach hosting events. Living close by for 15 years, Amalia Cimmarusti says she has enjoyed the “tranquility” but has had to call the police several times over the past two years. “Parking in front of our home, getting out of their cars to urinate as well as defecate in front of our home —  it happens every week, and we are forced to clean up the filthy tissues and feces,” Cimmarusti said.

Other residents, like Michael Jenkins, support the Juneteenth festivities and say people who live close should be ready for disruption. “And honestly, I don’t really see what the relevance is of misbehavior by individuals who may be drinking or misbehaving down near the Strand, not in the park, unrelated to any special events.”

The city’s future Juneteenth celebrations could span several days with ceremonies and various activities.