Debbie Wooten's story is a vision for the human spirit can prevail. Debbie entered a world of poverty, racism, abuse, and family suicide. But after years of struggle and barriers that for most would be too daunting, Debbie succeeded in becoming a highly sought after speaker and comedian.
Born in South Chicago during segregation, with a disabling birth defect - spina bifida. At five-months of age Debbie contracted polio. the eldest of seven children, her disability would not keep her from becoming self-appointed matriarch of the family. Over the years her mother had fallen into alcoholism and depression and her father was an abusive drinker.
Debbie was educated in a school for disabled students where color was not a factor in her placement. Life was hard, but she still was able to laugh and dream. At eight she pushed through a crowd with her Dad and shook the hand of Martin Luther King. words from his speech "judge people for the content of their character, not the color of their skin" has always stayed with her.
As a young mother, Debbie met the challenge. She would take her toddlers and groceries up to the third story of her apartment building one stair at a time alternating bags of groceries and babies until reaching the top floor celebrating her accomplishment with cheers.
While still in Chicago she married a man, that like her father was abusive, nothing changed. She started a business with ladies in the neighborhood called "Debbie's Dollies." using brown fabric and discounted African American dolls heads they fashioned dolls that were sent all over the country; a few with a miniature likeness of her leg brace.
In 1987 she decided to divorce her husband, take her children and move to Tacoma Washington. She moved to a tough area in town called Hilltop, but compared to the slums of Chicago, Hilltop was paradise. Determined not to be a welfare mom she found employment the Washington State Lottery for 13-years until her speaking launched. now married to her second husband, Elliot. He fell deep into depression, committing suicide. Debbie knew life could not stop. Once again, she was the single income earner for her family.
Her speaking career started a year later and she found herself moving uptown Tacoma. As a member to Toastmasters, she began winning speech contest one over another. With her National win, she was able to open for the comedian Sinbad, who enthusiastically encouraged her to continue her speaking career.
When looking for an entertainer who shares 'life' stories with humor leaving your audience wanting more, call Debbie Wooten.
Debbie's comedy includes the finals in the Seattle comedy Competition, opening for Gladys Knight on tour and other conics George Wallace, Tommy Davidson, Bernie Mac, Jamie Foxx, Cedric the Entertainer and Louie Anderson.