Trending Topics

An Estate Attorney Tries to Block Transfer of Stolen Black Land Back to Bruce Beach Family Heirs; Court Said Not So Fast

A Black California family is on track to reclaim their beachfront property stolen from them by the government with racist motivations. Descendants of Charles and Willa Bruce are breathing a sigh of relief after a recent court ruling helped save land that rightfully belongs to them from slipping out of their hands.

The Bruce family held a family reunion at Bruce’s Beach in Manhattan Beach, California, in 2018. (Photo provided/Duane Shepard)

“There’s only four living heirs left,” said Bruce family spokesman, Chief Duane Yellow Feather Shepard. Widely known as ‘Bruce Beach,’ is a three-acre beachfront property located on Manhattan Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles County, California.

Last October when Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed Senate Bill 796 into law, it cleared the way for the state to return stolen land to descendants of Charles and Willa Bruce.

At the time, the family thought they were on the verge of taking back their land, until Palos Verdes Estates Attorney, Joseph Ryan filed a lawsuit trying to block the land transfer just a few weeks after the legislation was signed.

“We knew there would be folks who didn’t want to see the Bruces get this property back and Mr. Ryan proved us right,” said George Fatheree, attorney representing the Bruce family in its land reclamation fight.    

Shepard feels the lawsuit field by Ryan was racially motivated.

“Yes, it was racially motivated, he had no other reason to do it, there wasn’t any money out of his pocket, he wasn’t going to get any money from it, it was just to stop Black people from getting the justice they deserve,” Shepard said.

Read full story at Atlanta Black Star here.

Back to top