Tate Brady, the Klan, and the attack on Greenwood

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I'd like to give the cover story in the new issue of This Land the attention it deserves, but at the moment I'm overwhelmed by a backlog of entries in progress about the Tulsa City Council primary, now just eight days away, so we'll make do for now with links:

Lee Roy Chapman has written a detailed, well-researched historical essay on the links between Tulsa founding father Tate Brady, the Ku Klux Klan, a vigilante attack on IWW members (and the daily newspaper that supported it), and the city's attempt to dispossess the black Tulsans whose homes and businesses had been burned and looted in the attack on Greenwood (the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot).

Sidebars to the story: Steve Gerkin's history of Beno Hall, Tulsa's Klan HQ on north Main St., and a transcript and audio re-enactment of Tate Brady's testimony to the tribunal investigating Klan activity in Tulsa.

Fox 23 spoke to Tulsans about changing place names that honor Brady, including the Brady Heights historic neighborhood, Brady Street, and the Brady Arts District. I'm inclined to agree with 94-year-old race riot survivor Wess Young:

He doesn't want the neighborhood's name to change. "That's history, why would you try and change what has gone one and not show what progress you have made," he told FOX23. He says he doesn't live in Tate Brady's neighborhood, he lives in his neighborhood. No matter what name it has. "It doesn't bother me because I have the privilege to live where I can afford."

My thinking -- keep Brady Street and Brady Heights as a humbling reminder that men like Brady were a part of Tulsa's past, but pick a better name to market the area north of the tracks downtown. I like Lee Roy Chapman's suggestion: Call it the Bob Wills District.

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1 Comments

gary patton said:

Don't name the area north of the RR tracks the "Bob Wills District" - we already have a museum there dedicated to a singing hillbilly.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 5, 2011 1:38 AM.

Tulsa District 5: Karen Gilbert's conflicts was the previous entry in this blog.

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