In recent years, there has been a renewed focus on reparations in the United States, particularly in cases of stolen land. Kavon Ward, the founder of Where Is My Land, has been at the forefront of this movement. She was present for the return of Bruce’s Beach in Manhattan Beach and played a role in advocating for the return of land to the descendants of Silas White in Santa Monica. These cases have sparked discussions about the possibility of more reparations and what it could mean for property ownership and wealth accumulation in the future.

While reparations have faced public opposition, there has been progress in legislatures, such as the California Legislature considering bills recommended by a task force to address systemic racism and slavery’s lasting harm. State Senator Steven Bradford has introduced Senate Bill 1050, which would establish a process for investigating racially motivated property takings and providing compensation to rightful owners. This legislation could pave the way for more successful reparations cases similar to those led by Ward.

Indigenous Americans have also been advocating for reparations through the Land Back movement, seeking to reclaim ancestral territories taken decades ago. Recent victories for Indigenous tribes, such as the Tongva and Yurok, who have regained land in California, highlight the importance of land as a symbol of culture and identity. Additionally, Assembly Bill 1950 aims to provide reparations to mostly Latino families displaced to build Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, further expanding the conversation around reparative justice in land ownership.

90-year-old Connie White’s family has a personal stake in the issue of stolen land, as her father, Silas White, lost his property in Santa Monica decades ago. Despite facing obstacles, including the city seizing the land for a parking lot after his death, the family is now hopeful for reparations. White’s cousin, Milana Davis, was inspired by the success of Bruce’s Beach and encouraged White to seek help from Where Is My Land. While White is unsure of what reparations she wants, she hopes to shed light on her father’s story and encourage other families who have faced land theft to seek justice.

The return of land to historically marginalized communities like the Bruces, Silas White’s family, and Indigenous tribes signifies a shift in the conversation around reparations and acknowledging the injustices of the past. Initiatives like Senate Bill 1050 and the Land Back movement are paving the way for a more equitable distribution of land and wealth, challenging long-accepted principles around property ownership. As more victories are achieved, momentum is growing for further reparations efforts to address the deep-rooted systemic racism and inequality prevalent in the United States.

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