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Business Owners Don't Want Brady District's Name To Change

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Kim Grayson, a black co-owner of a Brady District boutique said, "We can't change the past. Embrace it. You learn from your mistakes." Kim Grayson, a black co-owner of a Brady District boutique said, "We can't change the past. Embrace it. You learn from your mistakes."
Tate Brady, the district's namesake, has possible ties to the Ku Klux Klan and the devastating 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. Tate Brady, the district's namesake, has possible ties to the Ku Klux Klan and the devastating 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.
The district was named after Brady, one of the original incorporators of Tulsa, decades ago. Now there are signs plastered through the area calling him a racist. The district was named after Brady, one of the original incorporators of Tulsa, decades ago. Now there are signs plastered through the area calling him a racist.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Business owners in the Brady Arts District do not want to change the name of the area, despite a movement from residents to do so.

The Tulsa City Council asked the business owners to weigh in after the Brady name came under fire over its namesake's possible ties to the KKK.

05/16/2013 Related Story: Residents Appeal To City Council For Brady District Name Change

More than a dozen Brady District business owners debated the issue Friday behind closed doors.

Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson has said in the past that it would be in the city's best interest to change the name.

He and Councilor Blake Ewing, who represents the district, both showed up to the Brady Arts District Owners Association meeting Friday.

The business owners told them and us to leave.

After the meeting, we spoke with business owners who say the past is the past and the Brady name should stay.

The association released a formal statement July 14. 

Brady Arts District Owners Association statement.

The Brady Arts District is gaining popularity every day, hosting major events including Tulsa Tough, Food Truck Wednesday and the Juneteenth celebrations.

"The Brady Arts District is, I think, a reflection of where the community as a whole is headed," Mocha Butterfly Boutique co-owner Nikki Warren said.

Warren and Kim Grayson are the black shop owners of Mocha Butterfly Boutique on Main Street.

Like other owners there, they've thought a lot about the controversy behind the district's namesake.

"We can't change the past. Embrace it. You learn from your mistakes," Grayson said.

Tate Brady, the district's namesake, has possible ties to the Ku Klux Klan and the devastating 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.

That possibility has sparked some people to want to change the name of the district. It was named decades ago after Tate Brady, who was one of the original incorporators of Tulsa.

Now there are signs plastered through the area calling him a racist.

"That was a different time than there is now, and now the community has really changed," Warren said. "Tulsa has changed."

It's a city that is working to overcome its past, just like the United States as a whole, Grayson said.

"America is based on not some great things, and we're not going to change the name of America," Grayson said.

Grayson said she and some members of the Brady Arts District Owners Association have concluded changing the name could cause more harm than good.

"We're known for the Brady Arts District and we should just keep it that way," she said. "People already know who we are. It's a landmark and we think it should just stay."

With the business owners lining up support to keep the Brady name for the district, it's still up to the Tulsa City Council whether to change the name of Brady Street.So far, our calls to councilors Ewing and Henderson for reaction have not been returned.

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