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Black History Heroes: Nick Chiles

February 8, 2022

Meet Nick Chiles. Christianity Today calls him the “Anti Racism Activist History Forgot.”

Nick Chiles

Long before WWJD…What Would Jesus Do…became a bracelet and cliché, Nick Chiles took that question to white Christians and white supremacists in the early 1900’s. He even approached The Vatican, which was unheard of for a black person to do back in those days. Even MORE Surprising? He got a reply! The Pope agreed black people deserved equal treatment. That reply caught the whole nation’s attention.

The letters Nick Chiles traded with South Carolina Senator Benjamin Tillman grabbed attention too. Tillman had no problem being labeled a white supremacist. He and Chiles became pen pals though, with Nick thoughtfully showing the senator how his Christian values weren’t compatible with his racism. Nick published those letters in the Topeka Newspaper he ran, hoping white Christians would be moved to address racism in their own churches.

Chiles prayed for a day when no citizen would be wrongfully elevated over another.

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