Last week we introduced you to our mini-series where we will highlight Black men around the world. Our goal is to showcase men who are “Nipseys” in their own right, doing amazing things in their communities around the globe.
Meet Bobby Miles, a Hillsborough, North Carolina native who was raised along with his two brothers by his single mother. While interactions with his father were limited, Booby was blessed to have a number of strong, male role models step up to the plate to show him the ropes of life.
His mother’s selfless sacrifices throughout life helped him to see the “return on investment” that one gets when they pour into others.
Bobby attended Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, where he made the decision to become a teacher late in his college career, after plans to become a pediatrician were derailed.
Since then, Bobby has made it his mission to pour into the lives of Black and brown kids and encourage them to live life according to their purpose.
We spoke with Bobby about the work he is doing and what “the marathon continues” means to him.
Travel Noire: Why is it important for you to give back?
Bobby: There’s a quote by Jackie Robinson that I live by daily, “A life is not important, except in the impact it has on others lives.” I deeply feel that one can go throughout life, accumulate many awards and accolades, and still feel unaccomplished. A lot of times, this feeling stems from one not allowing their gifts and talents to be experienced by others. Creating meaning for others, especially those who may lack the tools to do so for themselves, is the driving force behind my intense urge to give back. I’ve learned throughout my journey, that it’s not about what I do for myself, but, how I am able to better the lives of the people around me. It is important for me to give back because there are so many who sacrificed so much for me and my place on this Earth.
TN: Tell us how you’re doing that?
Bobby: I wake up every morning with the task of making an impact and giving back to my community. As a twelve-year educator, serving underserved brown and black kids, it is my responsibility to equip them with the necessary tools needed to maneuver in a world that has been created to see them fail. There’s a small community of young minds that need a strong leader that will fight to dismantle educational inequalities, to ensure they’re put on the pathway to college and beyond. That in itself ignites an unwavering fuel inside on me to confront the negative narrative that has been placed on their lives. So each day, I make it my priority to close the achievement gap that society said couldn’t be closed.
TN: What does “The Marathon Continues” mean to you?
Bobby: There are so many prominent educators and activists who fought to ensure that every child had an opportunity to secure an education that would allow them to succeed and give back to the community that invested in their future. As an adult and educator, I’m reminded each day that the curriculum presented in classrooms around the world, fails to capture the audience of all students that are present. So, as a black male school leader, Nipsey Hussle’s “The Marathon Continues” empowers me to be a voice. A voice for those black and brown kids who enter schools without a voice. A voice that will advocate for their needs and stand up for what is theirs. And more importantly, a voice that will encourage and inspire them to fight for their place in this race and those who follow them.
TN: What has been your most memorable moment so far?
Bobby: This year, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor a group of 2nd grade boys, who are a constant reminder that the assignment that God has placed on my life is bigger than me. I wanted them to experience the joy of sacrificing their time and talents to give back to those who are less fortunate while laying a foundation for the love of reading and learning. We read the book, The Good Book: A Kids Guide to Becoming a Successful Student Leader by Da’Nall Wilmer. Each night they were tasked to read for at least 30 minutes and summarize what they read in their journal. Each day during breakfast, they read their summary to one of their teachers who agreed to sponsor them as they raised money to buy the supplies needed to make lunch bags for the homeless in the Nashville community. Each of them accepted the challenge without hesitation. We earned the money needed to buy the supplies for the lunch bags, stayed after school to make them, and distributed the lunches to the homeless throughout the community.
This memorable moment reminds me of the lesson my mom taught me about the gratitude one receives when you pour into the betterment of others and the message Nipsey Hussle wanted to be true for his community and those alike.
TN: Where can we find you online?
Bobby: I can be found on Instagram at _bobbydre_or Twitter at BD_Miles.