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Tulsa Mulls Renaming Sites Under Klan's Shadow

City father Wyatt Tate Brady was a member
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2013 8:16 AM CDT
Tulsa Mulls Renaming Sites Under Klan's Shadow
In this 1918 photo provided by the Tulsa Historical Society is Wyatt Tate Brady with his wife, Rachel.   (AP Photo/Tulsa Historical Society)

Wyatt Tate Brady helped turned Tulsa from a cluster of tents into a major Oklahoma city at the turn of the 20th century, and his name is attached to all kinds of local sites: a street, a neighborhood, a theater, and a mansion. But the shadow of his past is prompting some in the city to call for the renaming of the landmarks, the AP reports. Brady was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, a fact resurrected in a lengthy 2011 article on his past, and he may have been involved in a 1921 race riot that saw 300 black people killed. "There are councilors who are concerned and ashamed that we have this name, and we know what Mr. Brady stood for," says city councilor Jack Henderson.

He's calling for a new name for Brady Street, and the matter could face a vote next week. But there's opposition to name changes from some corners, including businesses in the Brady Arts District. "Removing the name is to surrender to the past," they wrote in a letter. "Rather than seeking to revise history, today's residents, visitors and merchants should regard the name as a demonstration of a new set of principles." Mayor Dewey Bartlett isn't a big fan of the idea, either. As for what Brady Street's new name could be, here's one possibility: Burlington Street, Tulsa World reports. The name appears on a 1907 map, says Henderson. (Read more Tulsa stories.)

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