The Super Bowl halftime show is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, but this year’s performance was particularly special for the deaf community.
Justina Miles, a Black American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, stole the show with her passionate interpretation of RiRi’s iconic halftime show.
The 20-year-old also made history as the first Black female ASL interpreter for the Super Bowl.
Her performance quickly went viral, garnering widespread attention and praise from both deaf and hearing communities alike.
ICYMI- more history made last night. Justina Miles the first female deaf performer for the Super Bowl’s halftime show performed American Sign Language alongside Rihanna. — and she killed it! #ASL #SuperBowl2023 pic.twitter.com/nrEIbisO92
— Christopher Webb (@cwebbonline) February 13, 2023
a Black Deaf woman. when i say we LOVE to see it. Queen.
— king khy (@Khyrughh) February 14, 2023
i love her and her energy honestly it makes it feel like im hearing the song in a whole different way and i’m sure she’s doing that amazingly for others too
— arsenic juice (@vanillavalium) February 14, 2023
Miles is no stranger to the world of ASL interpretation. She signed during Sheryl Lee Ralph’s pre-show performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” She also went viral in 2020 broke doing the #crushonyouchallenge on TikTok, signing along to Lil’ Kim’s “Crush on You.”
Miles is currently a nursing student at Bowie State University and was the valedictorian at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C.
She was also part of the USA team in the 2021–22 Deaflympics in Brazil earning a silver medal in the 4×100 women’s track relay.
With her expressive signing, Miles brought the deaf community into the spotlight in a way that was both celebratory and inclusive.
During a press conference, Miles said, “I value the opportunity to make it possible for all deaf people to enjoy these songs, and not have them miss out on the full Super Bowl experience.”