Homes burned and bulldozed, Black families in California seek help with these land claims

Source: Where is My Land

In the 1950s Black families, like others, were drawn west by the bustling tourism industry. Those seeking opportunities in Palm Springs were relegated to a small downtown area known as Section 14 due to discriminatory housing practices. It was a 1-square-mile area owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The city denied Section 14 sewage and water services, then declared it a “slum” destined for demolition. In the mid-1960s the city burned and bulldozed more than 200 buildings there, displacing about 1,000 people. An attorney general report called it a “city-engineered holocaust.” Former residents, known as Section 14 Survivors and led by Pearl Devers, amended their claim requesting that the city pay reparations. The Palm Springs City Council issued a formal apology last year.