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October-November 2021

Celebrating 100 Issues of ONE Magazine


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The column "Leadership Whiteboard" provides a short visual leadership coaching moment. It introduces and explains a new sketch in each issue, provides leadership coaching for further development, and shares a leadership quote and recommended book.



Lessons From a Hundred Years Ago

Winston Churchill paraphrased George Santayana’s original quote, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” A hundred years ago, in 1921, Warren G. Harding was sworn in as President, the first Lowe’s hardware store opened, Amelia Earhart took up flying, Adolf Hitler was named leader of the Nazi Party, and the fallout from an innocent elevator ride decimated the affluent neighborhood of Greenwood in north Tulsa, Oklahoma.

On May 30, 1921, across the tracks in the affluent, all-black Greenwood district of north Tulsa, Oklahoma, also known as the “Black Wall Street” of America, a young black teen named Dick Rowland rode the elevator up a floor to the restrooms. Sarah Page, the young teenaged female elevator operator, screamed as Rowland left the elevator. Rumors spread quickly that Dick had assaulted Page.

Police arrested the young man as mobs threatened to lynch him. Tensions rose in the streets, shots were fired, and pillaging began as citizens from white southern Tulsa stormed the black district of Greenwood. They invaded homes along East Archer Street, torched Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the Stradford Hotel, and 35 square blocks. Families watched looters carry off their belongings: pianos, china, and other heirlooms. Hundreds of men, women, and children were shot and killed in the streets that day. After a century, lessons from south and north Tulsa teach us so much. But are we good students? Let’s consider three important leadership reminders, so we never repeat such a horrifying event.

Number one, find the truth before spreading rumors. Too quickly, leaders repeat what they hear versus what truly happened. In this case, they believed the baseless rumor that a young black man had assaulted a white lady, allowing violence to precede truth. Sarah Page later exonerated Rowland, refusing to press charges and explaining an accidental set of events caused her surprised shriek. Ethical leaders should be strong enough to resist the pressure to repeat stories impugning others without proof.

Second, we do not trust what we don’t know. The “other side of the tracks” describes people, practices, and cultures that are different, but “different” does not mean inferior. The Great Commission calls us to engage the other side of the tracks lovingly. We forget that we, too, live on the other side of someone’s tracks.

Finally, sin creates injustice, but pride magnifies injustice on both sides. Ethics does not rationalize the destruction of property or harm to innocents in the name of justice. A strong witness does not fear negative labels that result from having coffee with someone who identifies as LGBTQ+ or have apprehension that others will think we condone the behavior. We should not ignore talking about racism for fear people will claim we are “woke,” proponents of BLM, or have adopted Critical Race Theory.

As C. S. Lewis' book The Screwtape Letters warns, we must not repeat yesterday’s history by failing to engage people and issues under one label—Christ!

About the Columnist: Ron Hunter Jr. has a Ph.D. in leadership and is CEO of Randall House Publications. You may contact him at


Recommended Books

1 Samuel 16:7
Romans 10:12
1 John 2:11, 4:20
James 2:9


Leadership Quote

“If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed” (Mere Christianity).
—C. S. Lewis



©2021 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists