Wyatt Tate Brady was one of Tulsa’s major developers in the early 20th century. Citizens recognized his prominence, primarily because his name was (and still is ... we’re getting there) on everything. Brady Heights neighborhood, Brady Street, Brady Theater and the entire Brady District bear his name as a symbol of prosperity, identity, community and — wait for it — racism.
Brady was in the Ku Klux Klan, most likely participated in the 1921 Tulsa race riots and overall, was a rather morally corrupt guy, according to a story first published in This Land Press in 2011.
Now, some Tulsans want his name removed from every surface of downtown. Name-change proponents say the moniker is a shameful scar on T-town, while some business owners are concerned that such changes would hurt sales and confuse visitors.
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. has weighed in. “We look at history as a good teacher,” he told an interviewer, “not something to emulate, obviously, but in this case something to learn from and avoid.”
Bartlett reportedly wants to keep the Brady name to avoid future situations with other downtown landmarks that might have been named for people with “questionable pasts.”
Dang. Just how many racists does the mayor think Tulsa plans on honoring in future years?