Juneteenth Celebrations Across Tulsa, Including Brady District

There are many celebrations going on this weekend in Tulsa for Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. Some residents are concerned that some celebrations are taking place in the Brady District, given the area's ongoing name controversy.

"I'm not going to make a decision for anyone. What I will say to them is to study the historic reference. If you want to go to Greenwood, go to Greenwood. If you want to go to Brady, go to Brady, but just understand what you're doing," said Tulsa resident Marq Lewis. He would like to see the name changed in the Brady District. It is named after one of Tulsa's founders, Tate Brady, who allegedly had ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

Lewis said he will be celebrating Juneteenth in the Greenwood area, known for being the historic location of the 1921 Race Riot.

However, Fred Jones with One Tulsa is organizing a large Juneteenth celebration at Guthrie Green in the Brady Arts District. He said the weekend is about equality for all. He also noted how the area sits near Martin Luther King Boulevard and hosts Majestic, a club largely serving the LGBT community.

"This is the first year it's being held on Guthrie Green, and you know, there are celebrations throughout the city, and we encourage everybody to attend as many celebrations as you can," Jones said.

Jones said he understands the frustrations some people have with the Brady name historically. However, he wants the weekend to focus on inclusion. He estimated there are roughly between 70 and 75 people of color that work near that district.

"If you want to protest, come on out, just be peaceful. We don't mind. This is a platform for everybody," Jones said.

Among other Juneteenth events, there is live music at Guthrie Green Friday and Saturday. The Wall Street Band will take the stage there Friday night at 8 p.m. There will also be a Zumba event and a fashion show Saturday.

Greenwood is hosting a block party starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Leon Rollerson's "African American Celebration of History" will air on Cox, cable 20 at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a drum demonstration Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery, about two years after 1863's Emancipation Proclamation.

The City Council announced Thursday that the Brady District Business Association will decide who to include in discussions regarding the Brady District's name. The aim is to keep the decision in the hands of people most affected by it.

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