d'bi Young

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D'bi Young Anitafrika is a Jamaican-Canadian dub poet, monodramatist, and educator, as well as a Dora Award-winning actor and playwright. Raised Debbie Young in Jamaica, she moved to Canada in 1993.

As an actor, she has appeared in Trey Anthony's da kink in my hair, which garnered her a Dora nomination for best actress, and the television sitcom Lord Have Mercy!.[1] She won outstanding new play and outstanding performance by a female in a principal role in a play in the 2006 Dora Mavor Moore Awards for her play blood.claat: one womban story.[2]

In 2007 she facilitated a summer dub theatre program for youth in Toronto, which led her to founding and artistic directing The Watah Theatre (formerly anitafrika dub theatre).[3][4] Young is the originator of the dub, poetry inspired arts-based personal and professional development methodology S.O.R.P.L.U.S.I., based on the seminal work of her mother Anita Stewart, a pioneer dub poet and member of Poets in Unity.

Young identifies her profession as "biomythicist", borrowing the term "biomyth" from the late Audre Lorde's combination of the terms for biography and mythology;[5] she identifies her sexuality as queer.[5]

She is curator of the Badilisha Poetry X-Change project created by the Africa Centre and artistic director of YEMOYA, an international artist-residency based in Jamaica.


  • debbie young - when the love is not enough 2000
  • debbie young - xperimentin dub with dub trinity reggae band 2001
  • debbie young - xperimentin dub in havana Cuba 2002
  • d'bi.young - dubbin.revolushun: blood demo 2003
  • d'bi.young - animal farm single 2005
  • d'bi.young - when sisters speak live 2007
  • d'bi.young - wombanifesto 2010
  • d'bi.young - 333 2012


  • wordlife: tales of the underground griots 1998
  • la vache enragee 1998
  • ribsauce: a CD anthology of words by women 1999
  • lost tribes of the sun: renewal 2003
  • cbc national poetry slam compilation 2004


  • Selphine Loathing 2001
  • yagayah: two.womben.black.griots 2001
  • blood(claat): one oomaan story 2005 (part 1 of sankofa trilogy)
  • androgyne 2006
  • benu 2009 (part 2 of sankofa trilogy)
  • word! sound! powah 2010 (part 3 of sankofa trilogy)
  • she 2010
  • She Mami Wata and The Pussy WitchHunt 2015
  • The Emancipation Of Ms. Lovely (director) 2015


  • art on black (book of poetry) 2005
  • blood.claat (play) 2006
  • rivers and other blackness between us (book of poetry) 2007


  • artstarts emerging artist award 2002
  • nourbese philip award 2002
  • harold theatre award 2005
  • 2 dora awards - outstanding new play, outstanding female lead - bloodclaat 2006
  • naacp best cast ensemble award - da kink in my hair 2007
  • rbc toronto arts council emerging artist award 2007
  • km hunter theatre award 2010
  • women's health in women's hands resiliency award 2011
  • canadian poet of honor award 2011
  • YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction (Arts) 2015[6]


  1. ^ Daley, True. "Debbie Young: Dub-poet, actor, and playwright". Phem Phat. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  2. ^ "Past Winners". Dora Awards. Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  3. ^ Siad, Simona (2007-09-20). "Stories from our 'hoods". Toronto Star. 
  4. ^ Lewis, Jules (20 January 2016). "d'bi.young anitafrika". Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Being d'bi young". Xtra!, February 18, 2010.
  6. ^ "2015 YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction". CNW. 2015-03-04. 

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