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Manhattan Beach makes amends

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., March 19 (UPI) -- The California town of Manhattan Beach is hoping to make amends for using its powers of eminent domain to take land from black families more than 80 years ago.

The city council voted to rename the two block neighborhood it turned into a public park after the African-American couple that bought the land overlooking the Pacific Ocean in 1912, The Los Angeles Times reported.

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Charles and Willa Bruce had created one of the few places in Southern California where black families could swim.

Besides an inn called Bruce's Lodge, they built a cafe and dance hall on the beachfront property.

In 1924, city leaders decided the land should be turned into a public park and they condemned a two-block area that was home to several minority families in addition to the Bruce's resort.

Three decades went by before a park was built on the land.

Some residents think a name change and plaque is not enough and the city should consider a more detailed exhibit explaining what segregation was like at the time.

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