Activists had called for a new name since 2011, when an article in the literary magazine This Land said Brady created an environment of racism that led to the 1921 riot that decimated a thriving district that historians have called Black Wall Street and left an estimated 300 black residents dead.
Those who wanted to leave the name alone include some of the Brady district’s business owners. They argued that a name change could lead to a revisionist look at other notable residents who have parks, buildings and streets named after them.
“Brady Street should be an example to the world of what reconciliation should look like,” Ewing said.
But not everyone agreed that the compromise change solved the problem. Several residents at the City Council meeting said the change seemed superficial to them.
“Take the Brady name down, period, and bury it with Tate Brady. That’s where it belongs, ” James Johnson told KOTV.
Ewing said changing the street’s name to honor Mathew Brady, a native of New York, will pay homage to an artist in a district that promotes the arts.
“I don’t know that this is perfect, but it’s better than staying what it is,” he said. “This was our effort at compromise.”