The Sum of Us

E8 | Manhattan Beach, CA: Swimming Together

The wealthy beachfront community of Manhattan Beach, California—known for its surf culture—has a Black population of less than 1%. You’d never know that a black couple was one of its founding families. In the early 1900s, the city government seized a thriving Black-owned beach resort after pressure from white residents and the Ku Klux Klan. Today, activists have won the return of the beach to the Bruce family in the first-known case of land reparations for Black people in the US. Now, the whole community is confronting the reality of what it lost when it destroyed a Black beach paradise, and redefining who gains when reparations becomes a reality.

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Host and Creator: Heather McGhee

Original Music and Theme Song by: Thee Sacred Souls 

Producers: Cassim Shepard, Ryan Kailath, Emilce Quiroz, Joaquin Cotler and Juan Diego Ramirez, with help from Liliana Ruiz, Sophia Lo, Susanna Kemp and Alissa Vladimir

Senior Producers: Nicole Rothwell, Jeanne Montalvo, and Fernanda Echavarri

Editors: Sandy Rattley and Maria Garcia

Mix Engineers: Stephanie Lebow and Julia Caruso

Researchers: Lynn Kanter and Carolyn Lipka

Executive Producer for Futuro Studios: Marlon Bishop

Executive producers for Higher Ground: Mukta Mohan, Dan Fierman, Anna Holmes, and Janae Marable

Editorial assistant for Higher Ground: Jenna Levin

Executive producers for Spotify: Daniel Ek, Dawn Ostroff, Julie McNamara and Corinne Gilliard 

A note — an earlier version of this episode omitted that Allison Hales, from the city’s task force on Bruce’s Beach, spearheaded the response to the “Concerned residents of MB”s newspaper ad. 

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