Inspire – Women of Dartmouth Stories

Telling the Stories of our Past

Debra Roberson ’89 reflects on her family’s history in Natchitoches, Louisiana through her art, photographs and writing.

“Those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it”
George Santayana

I like telling stories with my camera as a documentary photographer recording past and current history through my lens. The things I choose to record/ design are of a time not so long ago, in the lives of African Americans whether on a plantation, “getting religion” on a Sunday morning, or just a day in the life of. Both of my parents grew up on a plantation and I am the first generation not to. This history has influenced my outlook on life, and I want to capture these frames of time in the hope of leaving a legacy for future generations. I do what I do because I love uplifting people. I love to give back to the community. I want to encourage others to do the same. I support my community; I push myself to be the best and I don’t give up.

I received my BA from Dartmouth College in 1989 and my MA from Wheaton College in 1991. I received an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Communication Media from Bossier Parish Community College in 2021.  I have published two books that are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  The first book is Cane River Chronicles: Surviving on the prayers of my ancestors.  It is pictures and stories of slave and sharecroppers lives from the Cane River area of Louisiana.  The second book is Flowers of the Ark-La-Tex and it is beautiful flowers that caught my eye in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. I just finish a book of my memoirs called, By F.A.I.T.H., that will be published soon.

The photos that I am sharing with you are just a small amount of my work.  If you would like to see more, please visit my website at www.drmddesigns.com.  Also, you can visit my work on Shreveport Regional Art Council’s site at Debra Roberson (@webdivad) – Culturalyst.  I have two mixed media pieces that I have entered into art contest at a gallery and I’m hoping to get them into the African American museum in DC.  So, if anyone has any leads, please contact me at

4 thoughts on “Telling the Stories of our Past”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, your art and your life in such an awesome way. You have been a beacon of light for me in some dark times. I will be forever thankful that many times we have shared the same path on our journeys through this experience we call life. I am honored to be called your friend and sister.

  2. Kerry Kisiel Jones ‘89

    Just came across this post. I appreciated being able to hear your story through your words and photographs.

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