TULSA - Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett chose a popular social media platform to announce his position on potentially changing the name of Brady Street.
Early Friday, Bartlett put this post on Twitter:
After hearing from local business owners about changing the name of Brady St. I don't think I will support it. What are your thoughts Tulsa?— Dewey Bartlett (@DeweyBartlett) August 2, 2013
The controversy began after the street's namesake was tied to possible activity in the Ku Klux Klan during the early 20th Century.
Tate Brady, a man who signed the city charter establishing the City of Tulsa in 1898, may have held racist beliefs, but whether or not he was a Klan member remains a matter of debate.
It's known that he was a noted figure in the Democratic Party, and was named to the Democratic National Committee in 1907.
He's believed to have been a key figure in the "Tulsa Outrage," a 1917 incident in which union members were tarred and feathered by a branch of the KKK called the "Knights of Liberty."
Some believe he actively participated in the infamous 1921 Tulsa race riot, and also schemed to prevent African-Americans from rebuilding in the devastated Greenwood District.
On the other hand, he supported a 1923 military investigation into Klan activities, and is on the record as having backed an anti-Klan candidate in the 1922 gubernatorial race.
The Brady Arts District has grown significantly in recent years, and several historic buildings bear Brady's name, including his mansion and the Brady Theater.
Changing the name has some support in the city council, however business owners in the district, as noted by the mayor, strongly oppose the idea.