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City Torn on Whether to Change Name of Street Currently Named After Former KKK Member

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“White supremacy and racism is alive and well in this city, whether they like to admit it or not."

City Councilor Jack Henderson, Tulsa's only black councilman, said not changing the name of the street on Thursday was the "craziest thing" he had ever seen in his life (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Matt Barnard).

Lawmakers in Oklahoma delayed a controversial vote aimed at changing the name of a street currently named after a former KKK member on Thursday.

An informal vote to change the name of the street away from “Brady Street” deadlocked the Tulsa City Council in a 4-4 tie, forcing them to wait until next week when an absent councilmember will be present, according to the Tulsa World.

“This is the craziest thing I ever heard in my life,” Tulsa’s only black councilman, Jack Henderson, said after the vote, which drew a crowd of some 200 people. “We had an opportunity to do it here tonight.”

City Councilor Jack Henderson City Councilor Jack Henderson, Tulsa's only black councilman, said not changing the name of the street on Thursday was the "craziest thing" he had ever seen in his life (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Matt Barnard)

Wyatt Tate Brady, who helped found the city of Tulsa a century ago, was leading member of the Knights of Liberty white supremacist group that was responsible for the 1921 Tulsa riots, which killed approximately 300 blacks, according to the Associated Press.

Supporters of the motion to rename the street outnumbered the opposition at the meeting by a margin of 40-8. They said changing the street name is an important step forward in race relations for the community.

“Black people in Tulsa have had a very difficult time in Tulsa over the last 100 years,” Councilor G.T. Bynum told the AP.

According to the AP, those in opposition to changing the street name have said the street name is a symbol from the past and that residents should learn from it.

Others, however, think racism is the motivating factor.

“Wyatt Tate Brady is still a hero to [the city],” resident James L. Johnson Sr. told the AP. “White supremacy and racism is alive and well in this city, whether they like to admit it or not.”

Still, some residents disagree.

"No one's trying to change history," resident Kavin Ross told the Tulsa World. "We just want the truth added."

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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