New Article Reveals Tulsa Founder's Violent Past and Role in 1921 Race Riot

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A groundbreaking new article from This Land Press establishes that Tate Brady, a founding father of Tulsa, was a Klan member who tortured union workers and fostered an atmosphere of racism leading to the Tulsa Race Riot. Entire areas of Tulsa, named after Brady, are called into question.

Tate Brady in Sons of Confederate Veterans uniform

Unveils the racist past of W. Tate Brady, who was not only one of Tulsa's founding fathers and major landowners, but also a prominent Klansman and orchestrator of the Tulsa Race Riot.

Reporter Lee Roy Chapman chronicles a new history of Tulsa by exposing the truth behind one of its founding fathers, W. Tate Brady.

"[The article] unveils the racist past of W. Tate Brady, who was not only one of Tulsa's founding fathers and major landowners," says Huffington Post in a recent article. "But also a prominent Klansman and orchestrator of the Tulsa Race Riot."

Brady, the article says, was not only a member of the KKK, but also led the brutal tar and feathering of seventeen union workers in 1917 in an event known as the “Tulsa Outrage.” Following the kidnapping of the men, Brady also helped bring Nathan Bedford Forrest II to Tulsa, a man who held a national Klan leadership position, the report reveals.

Other major findings in “The Nightmare of Dreamland: Tate Brady and the Battle for Greenwood” include:

--Tate Brady’s active role in the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
--The Tulsa Chamber of Commerce’s propaganda efforts
--The influence of the Klan leaders on Tulsa’s city leaders
--The participation of a Tulsa World editor in inciting the Tulsa Outrage
--Brady owned the land upon which Beno Hall, a KKK temple, was built
--Popular Tulsans joined a committee chaired by a national Klan leader
--The ongoing struggle for historic registry of the Tulsa Race Riot area

Today, Tate Brady’s name is emblazoned on the front of numerous downtown Tulsa buildings, with an entire area of town, along with a neighborhood named after the city founder. Chapman’s findings suggest that Tulsa must now grapple with the uncomfortable problem of reassessing the district’s name and value.

“The Nightmare of Dreamland is a real revelation, and with it, Lee Roy Chapman has shed new light on the early history of Tulsa,” says This Land publisher Vincent LoVoi. “Readers can now understand the context of events leading up to the Riot of 1921, and they can see how it continues to affect life in Tulsa today. It is a historical essay with major modern repercussions in Tulsa--a masterpiece of contemporary narrative journalism.”

W. Tate Brady committed suicide in 1925, but his legacy remains in the large district that bears his name. The Brady Arts District enjoys a place on the national registry of historic places, but Greenwood—the area where the 1921 Riot occurred—has yet to receive the same designation.

Along with “The Nightmare of Dreamland,” This Land Press is publishing an editorial by noted riot historian Alfred Brophy, as well as a comprehensive history of Beno Hall, a large Klan temple, that was once located in Tulsa. James Goodwin, of the Oklahoma Eagle, offers an editorial as well, and plans to run the article as a 5-part series in his paper. Journalist J. Kavin Ross clears up misunderstandings with a stirring history of the Greenwood area, where the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot occurred. ThisLandPress.com will also offer a number of related video and audio segments related to the article, including a re-enactment of Brady's admission of Klan membership during a testimony before an Oklahoma military tribunal.

On Tuesday, September 13th, This Land Press is also presenting "Revisiting Brady: The Man, The City, and The Riot," a public discussion where local leaders offer their opinions about how we should respond to the findings. The event will be held at Greenwood Cultural Center at 7pm, and panelists will include: Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, Representative Seneca Scott, Oklahoma Eagle editor James Goodwin, Adam Nemec of New Medio, and Bill O'Connor of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice. Historian Paul Vickery will present a 20 minute dialogue as Tate Brady prior to the discussion, and panelists will be available to local media prior to the event at 6:30.

Last year, This Land Press earned international acclaim for its pioneering reporting of Bradley Manning, the Oklahoman at the center of the Wikileaks saga. More recently, Huffington Post noted This Land’ s contribution to race reporting because it dedicated a special issue to coverage of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. In this collector’s issue, This Land Press also unveils an advisory board featuring names like former Harper’s editor Roger Hodge and Google Books executive Tom Turvey, among others. The Columbia Journalism Review called This Land Press “The New Yorker with balls.” This Land Press is Oklahoma's first New Media company and publishes thought-provoking content across print, video, audio and web mediums. Thanks to its homegrown, local appeal, This Land Press also has one of the largest online media communities in Oklahoma. Find out more at ThisLandPress.com

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Courtney Campbell
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