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Debbi's Story

I chose Debbi for this project after connecting with her over Instagram after England lost the Euros final. I was inspired by her fearless approach to calling out people for their racist behaviour in a mature way for a young woman. She managed to create such a presence online that Instagram shut down her account. I wanted to turn this into a positive thing for us both by collaborating on this piece.

My message from this story would be never let anyone stop you from sharing the messages that are important to you if you are coming from a genuine place in your heart to make change. People experience discrimination on all levels. Lets try and do our best in our daily lives to see everyone as just human without discriminating yet understand and educate ourselves and others about the struggle people go through so we can better understand each other. I think we all discriminate each other on many different levels. By noticing this in ourselves shouldn’t bring shame, but highlight areas where we can just do better.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they dont have any’ -alice walker 
Before I start I would just like so pardon myself in advance from my horrific writing skills, I tend to write how I speak and that’s usually in shambles.
This quote is probably plastered around my room like crazy. I pretty much live my life by it. Whenever im feeling beaten down or like im not fully in control. I remember what Alice said. People describe me in many ways, ive gotten mean, funny, shy, introverted which im all of the above depending on the situation but just recently ive been called powerful. That’s something i have never gotten EVER. Powerful or any word along the lines of that used to describe me is something i never thought i would hear.
As a much younger child ive always been painted this beautiful picture of life. Where everything is all roses and rainbows with it all ending in a great, big happily ever after…..until u finally grow up. Being a black teen in the UK that’s something i had to do well before the age. I was exposed to a certain life that i wouldnt have imagined to be real….until it was. For me the issue on how i was going to be treated in this world both as a woman and black person hit me all at once. In my family i was always praised for my much darker skin than the rest yet was shown the complete opposite outside of home.
My name is Deborah. I live in the UK, born from ivorian parents in France. Specifically Colombes which is just on the outskirts of Paris. I dont play sports, i dont rlly have any hobbies unless if that includes online window shopping and buying unnecessary jewellery then losing it, or my extreme love for flowers and incense. But in my spare time i like to use the little platform that i have to shed light on different problems tht we face in the world. Whether that be racism or climate change. Im not an activist, i dont believe im all that equipped to be one however i am a voice and in a world that is so full of chaos, we need a couple of those, that goes right back to one of my favourite quotes. Power and influence is seen within, and though there may be times where u feel like your word may not influence say it anyways. Thats what i did and overnight 20k+ ppl had viewed my story of me speaking on racism towards football players….who would have thought so many ppl found a couple ig posts i made educational.
I grew up with my mother, 7 cousins and 2 older sisters. Out of all my siblings (including step siblings) im the youngest so can already guess how spoiled i was. Having much older siblings they were like parental figures as much my mother and father were of course. My mum and dad were never married but he came to visit every time he could. He would come all the way from london to luton to see us by himself though he was handicapped, from a car accident where he suffered a stroke that left the left side of his body paralyzed. My relationship with the guy isnt that great now and honestly i don’t think it ever changed, i think that i just grew up really. However would say some very wise things whenever he felt like it.
My mother is extremely religious, christian to be exact but we didnt grow up like the average christians. We’re celestial, a completely different breach of Christianity that does things so much different then others. Its very new only about 60+ years old and founded in west africa, its a very spiritual breach, but it makes sense.  My mum and dad are very different, my mum pushes for us to open up, live happy and always chase after our dreams. She always says that she supports whatever career path we choose as long as it puts food on our table. Shes always been very open. Things like sex ed was something that was never hidden from me. She always said that being open about these things was better than hiding the truths and then being shocked by the outcome. my father on the other hand is very ‘you need to be either a doctor, lawyer or engineer.’ He almost never opens up but maybe it’s because hes just very old. I asked him for money to buy a guitar and he said that i need to leave that and focus on becoming a lawyer…..I WAS 10.
I wouldnt say my life has been the easiest, ive had my fair share of family hardships whether that be financial or emotional. 
 My mental health had not always been on my side but i do try and like my grandfather once told my mum. Its better to try and fail then cry in your pillow for a couple hours but those feelings aren’t temporary however the thought of u never trying is. 
On the topic of my grandparents, ive never met them. My granddad passed in 2013 but my grandma is still alive. I call them my mami and papi. Im so much closer to my mums side of the family. Things are very confusing there. My uncles first wife is my grandma just because shes the one one who raised my mum when my uncles first brought her to Europe. I call my uncle papi simply because hes old and because he was also my mums father figure. Ive got much much older cousins that my mum raised that i call my siblings simply because my mym raised them. We are very close but distant family. Keeping my family close is the most important thing to me.

~ Debbi ~
~I am Powerful ~
More information can be found about Debbi’s charity at
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