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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