|Updated: 9/02/2011 10:11 am
||Published: 9/01/2011 10:32 pm
Could it be a dark side of Tulsa kept in the shadows for decades?
A report about one of Tulsa’s founding fathers entitled, “The Nightmare of Dreamland” paints a picture of Tate Brady as a leader in the Ku Klux Klan.
It alleges he “tortured” people, and fostered an atmosphere of racism.
The article is receiving national attention and causing a lot of people to question what we think we know about Tulsa’s history, and what may have been covered up.
The Brady District, The Brady Mansion and The Brady Theater; his name is all over Tulsa, but do we really know who Tate Brady was?
One local author says he does now, and he’s revealing it to the world.
"He didn't view African-Americans as human beings, and he sought through his political power to keep them separate from white Tulsa,” says author Lee Roy Chapman.
After years of research, Chapman is opening Pandora’s Box. He says Tate Brady, one of Tulsa’s most prominent leaders from its early days, was a racist Klan leader who tortured Union members.
"They were in a union that was anti-war and anti-capitalist and you know 40 of these rogue, masked men took them from police custody and took them out,” says Chapman.
"According to all 17 members that were tarred, it was Tate Brady that actually applied the boiling tar to their backs, which had been whipped,” he says.
Chapman’s findings have been published in the September issue of “This Land.”
"This article was meticulously and exhaustively researched. It's won the support of nationally recognized historians who truly understand the riot,” says This Land editor Michael Mason.
He is referring to the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 when armed white men looted, burned and destroyed Tulsa’s flourishing black community, known as “Black Wall Street.” The Red Cross estimates more than 300 people were killed, and 1200 homes were destroyed.
Chapman says Tate Brady contributed to that atmosphere of racism and hatred.
"This Land" says it tried to contact the Brady family for comment.
"Tate Brady's great granddaughter sent us a really inflammatory email and she doubted the legitimacy of the research, and she was implying that he had actually help shelter people during the riot,” says Mason.
Nonetheless, the paper is standing by its story.
"The fact of the matter is… that we have Brady's own testimony talking about his Klan involvement. We have witnesses that identified him at the scene of the torture. We have tons of documentation connecting him with the Klan,” says Mason.
And yet, his name is respected in Tulsa. Through the years, has history been rewritten, and if so, why?
“This side of the story has not been told and we have millions of dollars being poured into the Brady District downtown,” says Chapman.
If you would like to know more about the article and Tate Brady, a panel discussion will be held on September 13th at the Greenwood Cultural Center. The discussion will begin at 7:00pm.