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Campus News / News

Black History Month at Rockford University: Sophomore Musical Theater Student Shares Thoughts

02/24/2023 10:30 am

By Sara Myers

We’ve been speaking to Rockford University students and alumni about Black History Month. Throughout the month of February, the university will highlight different individuals and their thoughts about the historic month and its importance.

We spoke with Miami Roby, a Rockford native, and RU sophomore studying musical theater and psychology. Roby is the house crew chief/house manager for the upcoming RU production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” premiering Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Maddox Theatre. Roby will also join the cast of Urinetown this April.

She’s involved in student government on campus and the Regents First program that helps give first-generation college students tools to help lead them to graduation. Her expected graduation date is May 2025. 

Here are Roby’s thoughts on Black History Month.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

How do you honor or celebrate Black History Month? 

Normally, (I have) participated in all of the traditions, like wearing my cultural wear because my family’s from Nigeria. Or, just donating and buying stuff from Black-owned shops and businesses and brands. 

Name a Black figure – past or present –that you admire. Why?

Issa Rae. I really like her. I like the movies she writes and what she stands for.

Why is Black History Month relevant today? 

Although we’re not back in (the times of) slavery or segregation, there are still a lot of problems with race today. I’m not sure when they’ll go away, but it’s a work in progress. 

If we want to continue to fight for the things that we want and for our rights, it’s so important to celebrate Black figures in history who’ve paved the way for the things that we’re doing today as Black people. If we stop doing it, we’re kind of throwing away all the work we did for the past few 100 years. I feel like continuing to celebrate those people just reminds Black people today, to (continue) working hard because the work is still not done yet.