Little Known Black History Fact: Brady Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma

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    There is a street in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma named Brady Street that honored Wyatt “Tate” Brady, a Ku Klux Klan member. Brady, a wealthy business owner and founder of the town, was responsible for signing the document that created the town of Tulsa in 1907. Unfortunately, Brady later instigated the big Tulsa Race Riot in 1921. Over 900 blacks were killed in the deadly fight and 10,000 left homeless. Prior to the Tulsa Race Riots, Tulsa was home to the wealthiest African American community.

    Wyatt Tate Brady owned the local store, hotel and newspaper. Raised by a Confederate soldier, Brady led a local group called the Knights of Liberty, also known as the KKK. Until recent changes, the racist leader had a street, theater and a mansion named after him.

    As a recent request was made to erect signs commemorating Brady spread through the city, the Tulsa City Council was asked to re-name the street and refrain from any honors to Wyatt Brady by city residents. The first time the council voted, there was a 4-4 tie. Once an additional member returned, a second vote was taken. With a 7-1 vote, the city was not renamed, but switched to honor Civil War photographer Mathew Brady instead. Brady had been hailed as the father of photojournalism.

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