TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa City Council has postponed a vote on whether to rename a street named for a town founder who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and has been implicated in a deadly race riot nearly a century ago.
Dozens of residents spoke at the almost three-hour hearing Thursday, with a majority saying a change was needed to shake perceptions that the city is still racially divided. Supporters of changing Brady Street outnumbered opponents of the name switch nearly 40-8 as they addressed the council.
The street’s namesake, Wyatt Tate Brady, was a shoe salesman who became a prominent Tulsa businessman. He signed the city’s incorporation papers, started a newspaper, and pumped his wealth into promoting Tulsa.
But Brady was also a member of the Klan. New questions arose after a magazine article looked at whether he was involved in the most notorious event in Tulsa history: a 1921 race riot that left some 300 black residents dead.