The Project

A Research Project of

Charlyn Green Fareed, Ph.D.

The Strong Black Woman project is an extension of a 2004 research study conducted by Dr. Charlyn Green Fareed, that examined the impact of being a strong Black woman and the relationship of the ethic to health and wellness. Outcomes from the study supported health statistics on Black women and showed a substantive link between the ethic and health and wellness.

The major goals of the Strong Black Woman Project are to begin to turn these dire statistics around, oneBlack woman at a time! We can do this by continuing the conversation about the 'flip side/drawbacks" of these behaviors, by providing resources, support, and rewriting our personal and collective health and wellness stories!

For over 25 years, we've provided health and wellness coaching, education and advised women from all walks of life about the possible health and wellness impacts of the ethic.  We continue to gather new information from women on how the ethic has impacted their lives and how using what they've learned to improve aspects of their health and wellness.  

SBW Theme Behaviors Negatively Impacting Overall Health & Wellness: (Initial outcomes from the 2004 study)

Tired:  3 levels of Tired were identified by the women in the study:  Emotional, Physical, and Tired Related to everything.   Listen to a women describe her SBW Tired story and how it impacted her health and wellness

Caretaking:  We found that we consistently take care of/worry about everyone else and put ourselves last (self-sacrificing).  Listen to a women describe her SBW Caretaking story and how it impacted her health and wellness

Treadmill/Constant Striving:  We identified we often do too much, try too hard, and don’t know when or how to stop; usually not until our health is impacted.   Listen to a women describe her SBW Treadmill story and how it impacted her health and wellness

Conclusions from the initial study found that over time, all of these behaviors can contribute to poor health including heart disease, stress, depression or even death.

Other Findings:

Cultural Historical Connection to SBW Behaviors:

Our Enslaved Experience:  We found that many of our SBW behaviors are passed-down from our enslaved experience that we unconsciously practice today, i.e., overprotecting/nurturing our sons over our daughters, taking care of others at the expense to our own health and wellness.  

How Black Women Learn to be SBW:
Generational Strong Black Woman Behaviors:  We found that just as we learned many of our SBW behaviors from our mother-models, we have unconsciously passed them on to our daughters.

What Action SBW Can Take to Improve Overall Health & Wellness:

  • Be Aware and Accept there is a "flip side" to being a SBW 

  • Monitor, Control, and Take Action. Being aware of your flip side SBW behaviors can give you a way to control, balance, and make the necessary changes.

  • Talk to Our Daughters!  Talk to our daughters and other young women so they can start early to take control of their flip side SBW behaviors and improve their overall health and wellness. Current health statistics indicate African American women’s health is in jeopardy as early as 20 years of age!