How the effort to return California beach land to the original Black owners unfolded

Kavon Ward, a Manhattan Beach activist, was getting her 4-year-old ready for a bath when she heard the news:

A state bill that would pave the way for Los Angeles County to return two parcels of oceanfront land in Manhattan Beach to the descendants of the original Black owners was on its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature.

“I stared crying and crying like a baby,” Ward said in an interview on Friday, Sept. 10, a day after the state Senate OK’d the bill. “I was reeling.”

Ward was one of the key figures in an ongoing movement to get justice for Willa and Charles Bruce, who owned

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