Bruce’s Beach park in Manhattan Beach, California, is named after a former beach resort of the same name in the park’s location, operated by a black couple, Charles and Willa Bruce.
The Bruces purchased beachfront property along the Strand between 26th and 27th streets in Manhattan Beach in 1912, developing it into a popular resort for African-American beachgoers and vacationers. By the early 1920s there was a small community of black families living in the area, despite simmering hostility towards them in the predominantly white town.
In 1924, the city condemned the area and seized several properties through eminent domain, with the purported aim of creating a public park. The action drove the black community away from the area, and the Bruces left town altogether. It was another 30 years before a park was developed, which later became Bayview Terrace Park, and renamed Parque Culiacan in 1974 after a sister city in Mexico. In 2006, Manhattan Beach City Council voted to rename the park Bruce’s Beach to recognize the racism and prejudice behind the city’s actions against its African-American community some eighty years earlier.