Meet The ASL Performer Who Hooked Super Bowl Audiences

Black History Month Spotlight: Meet The ASL Performer Who Hooked Audiences During Rihanna’s Halftime Show

Stealing some of Rihanna’s shine during a comeback show might seem impossible–unless you’re Justina Miles. The HBCU student has been the talk of social media since Sunday for her ASL interpretation during Rih Rih’s Super Bowl halftime performance.


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Justina is just 20 years old, a student at Bowie State University, and a deaf American Sign Language (ASL) performer, per CNN. Though she wasn’t the only ASL performer at the Kansas Chiefs v. Philadelphia Eagles game, Miles generated viral talk for her energetic delivery during the 13-minute performance.

She received commitments on Twitter like:

“ASL interpreter Justina Miles was indisputably the high point of the super bowl,” @SupremeCourtAF wrote.

“Super Bowl halftime interpreter Justina Miles was having the time of her life tonight. I love this,” @noahmtweets wrote.

Beyond the viral recognition, Justina added her contribution to Black History Month. According to The Philadelphia Interpreter, Justina is the first Black woman to interpret ASL during the Super Bowl halftime show.


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While her ASL performance for Rih’s set caused the buzz, it wasn’t her first time performing during Sunday’s game. Justina also performed Lift Every Voice and Sing as Sheryl Lee Ralph belted the lyrics. This marked the first time the Black National Anthem was sung at the Super Bowl.

“It’s not only for me to share this experience with the whole word, but to really bring that empowerment to millions and millions of Black deaf people all over the country, who’ve never really seen that before,” Justina said. “And so they should feel inspired, and that’s the same way I feel. I feel like that is truly lifting every voice, even my voice.”


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Justina also spoke about her overall experience performing at the Super Bowl in an Instagram post.

She wrote:

“Thank you @nfl @nad1880 for allowing me to be part of American history, Black history, and Deaf history. I had the honor of performing the Black National Anthem with @thesherylleeralph and lift every voice of the unrecognized, the overlooked, and the culture. Not only is it an overwhelming inspiration to be the first woman to perform at the pregame and halftime show, but to be Black and Deaf as well. That shows real inclusivity and big baby steps towards true accessibility. I’m so glad the world- deaf and hearing- enjoyed one of the year’s biggest moments together! This experience was indescribable and I’m at a loss of words for each and every one of your love and support.”

Here’s What Else You Should Know About ASL Performer Justina Miles

Though the Super Bowl LVII was a big stage for Miles, it’s not the only grand opportunity she’s had in ASL performing. According to the NFL, Miles has given ASL music renditions “at various concerts throughout the country.” 

This week also isn’t her first time going viral. In 2020, Miles received widespread online attention after sharing an ASL rendition of the #CrushOnYou challenge, which featured Lil Kim’s hit 1997 single. After the video gained traction, Lil Kim shared it on her Instagram Story. Miles was only 17 at the time.

When she’s not performing, the Philadelphia native is also a thriving student and athlete. She’s studying nursing at Bowie State after graduating as valedictorian from Washington D.C.’s Model Secondary School for the Deaf. Miles is also a cheerleader for the prestigious HBCU.

Most recently, she participated  2021-2022 Deaflympics in Brazil with Team USA and won a silver medal for the 4X100 women’s track relay team.


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