|Charles and Willa Bruce|
Charles and Willa Bruce, 1880’s Charles and Willa owned a beach resort called Bruce’s Beach in Manhattan Beach, CA, one of the few beaches in 1900’s open to African Americans.
Willa and Charles sitting in front
of their cottage.
Photo of Willa and Charles sitting in front of their cottage. There were two blocks designated for minorities by the developer in a new community. By 1912, Willa and Charles purchased three lots.
Unfortunately, the white residents in Manhattan Beach were not happy with this arrangement. In 1920, the city of Manhattan Beach said this land was needed for a city park and by using eminent domain seized the land of those who did not want to sell.
In 1927, the city was going to sell this same land that they needed for a park to a developer for a "white only beach", but backed out due to pressure from the NAACP.
The Bruce's sued the city, but their case was thrown out of court.
Bernard Bruce, grandson of Willa Bruce started a campaign to have the name returned to Bruce's Beach. It was not until 1962 that the land the Bruce's and others were forced off actually became a city park.
Charles and Willa Bruce plague
Maya Angelou pointed out "Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible."