“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future,” said Theodore Roosevelt.
Implemented soon after Mr. Maqubela’s arrival in 2013, the Diversity & Inclusion team at Groton sought to start serious conversations within the community. From all-school community gatherings to discussions in history classes, topics of conversation have been centered around race relations, struggles with identity and racism rooted in history that is still present in society today.
This fall, Groton School’s Speaker Committee seeks to continue these conversations by inviting guest speaker Tiya Miles to the circle.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tiya Miles is a Professor of History at Harvard University. With intensive research studies and creative interests in the history, literature, and lives of African American, Native American, and American Women, she organized the first national conference about African American and Native American relations.
When reflecting on the biggest inspirations in her life, Miles remembers her grandmother. Miles holds onto the stories her grandmother told her when she was a little girl. In her online biography, Miles said, “They were stories about my grandmother’s father, a man born into slavery who claimed African American as well as Native American forebears. He had children; they had children; those children had children, and here I am.”
Miles has also appeared on various local National Public Radio programs to discuss her research and comment on contemporary issues regarding race and American culture. She even gave a lecture at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. in 2018. She is a commentator as well, having written for The New York Times, CNN In America and The Huffington Post.
Through her research, lectures and writing, Miles is keen on channeling “the magic of history.” Following the sentiment of her work beyond teaching, Miles poses broader questions about how acknowledging history can shape the future to her history students: “How can we play our parts in history for the greater good? How can we make history together, aligning in our minds the reality of change and the righteousness of justice?”
Tiya Miles is set to speak on Oct. 21 from 7-8 p.m. Whether the talk will be virtual or in-person is still being decided by the Speaker Committee upon Groton’s return to the school year.