Black Charm

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Nine Black women, nine different careers, and nine stories with striking similarities, of career struggle, self-doubt, mental and physical health issues, and general unhappiness caused by varying forms of work related stress; nine stories of fortitude and resilience that eventually morph into nine stories of rejuvenation. These women form the inaugural part of a multi-layered interactive media project titled BlackFemaleProject—a project attempting to peel back the skin of the often unseen effects of racism and sexism, not only in the workplace, but also in terms of how these issues elbow their way into other areas of Black women’s daily lives.

Fern A. Stroud's story, Black Charm centers on how to schmooze, access your inner charm, and navigate from a position of abundance. Throughout her career in information technology, Fern has utilized strategies that helped her grow.

All of the women who share their stories in our inaugural collection have found themselves in a battle for sanity, cultural autonomy, or simply professional courtesy. These women have also found their own strategies of success; some are still developing these methods and share their experience with us in real time. Let’s join them now.

Black Charm

Fern Stroud

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Who are you and where do you live?
I am Fern A. Stroud and I live in Oakland, California, born and raised in Berkeley.

What’s your career focus?
My current career focus is in the Information Technology space of all things data—managing efforts to create change in the data space.

What’s something positive that came out of writing your story?
Writing provided me the opportunity to introspectively review the last 20 years of my life and see how the goals I set actually had come to fruition.

Three words of advice for your 18-year-old self?
Always ask questions.