A Research Project of

Charlyn Green Fareed, Ph.D. 


 The Imperative

Health & Wellness Imperative...


SBW Flip Side/Drawbacks...


​There are many positives to being a Strong Black Woman. We are ingenious, confident, sassy and bold. By the same token there are drawbacks, perhaps the biggest one being that, many women who see themselves as Strong Black Women will keep on keeping on even when they know they should stop. It is as if we feel that to acknowledge we are stressed out or need to rest is akin to giving up membership in the Strong Black Woman club." - Neal-Barnett (2003)

​​​Yes, we all know that being a SBW is what has kept us alive for over 400 years, but let’s keep it real! It’s time to have some serious conversations about the health and wellness flip side and then take action that could save our lives!  The urgent need to hear this message is reflected in the dire health statistics on African American women:

  •  80% of African American women 20 years and over are overweight

  • 43% of African American women 20 years and over have hypertension (high blood pressure). Among                           African American women aged 45 to 64, 57% suffer from a condition requiring treatment and two in every five have arthritis, the highest reported percentage of all American women.  

  •  African Americans constitute 13% of American women, but suffer greater illness and death rates than other women.  Their chief causes of death are heart disease, cancer, CVD (stroke), HIV/AIDS, and accidental and intentional violence.  The report cites, 16 % of African American women say they suffer from a health condition that limits their mobility. 

  •  Many Black women complain of anxiety and depression and nearly half the African American women aged 45 to 64 were on prescription drugs.  

  •  Diabetes death rates are 20% higher for African American men and 40% higher for African American women compared with their White counterparts.

Washington, H. (2003).  National Colloquium on Black Women’s Health. National Black Women’s Health Project in collaboration with the Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust and the U.S. Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus, Washington, D.C. 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 2006 FASTSTATS-Health of African American population

2016 CDC Data on Black Women & Hypertension: 

Hypertension is defined as:  " an abnormally high blood pressure. a state of great psychological stress."

This is developing to be a major cause of illness and /or death of African American women as noted by the 2016 CDC report below.  The SBW Project has put greater emphasis on "stress" education and interventions to highlight the impact on the health and wellness of African American women.