The Land Beneath This Stadium Once Was Theirs. They Want It Back.

“We know we’re going uphill,” Montalvo said. “But we also know this: There’s a time right now in politics, both up and down the state, about reparations.”

Those seeking reparations in California have been encouraged by the story of Bruce’s Beach, a property that was bought by a Black couple, Charles and Willa Bruce, in 1912 in what would become the city of Manhattan Beach, Calif. The land was taken from the Bruces in 1924 when city officials condemned it through eminent domain, claiming to need it for a public park.

Last year, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to transfer ownership of the land to the great-grandsons and great-great-grandsons of Charles and Willa Bruce. They sold the land back to the county for $20 million.

Buried Under the Blue and the descendants of those who were displaced have political support, including from Eunisses Hernandez, a member of the Los Angeles City Council who said she stands with them.

“Oftentimes we are in these situations because companies, corporations, people with a lot of money, have felt that other communities were disposable,” Hernandez said. “We are still confronted with moments like that even today, and so we have to demand that these corporations, these companies, give back to the communities that they have taken from.”

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