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Sunday, November 25, 2012

You Can’t Catch Salmon with Sharkbait - Why Some Brothas Can't Get a Good Woman Guest Blog by Commencement author Lawrence Cherry

What’s with all the complaining about black women that I’ve been hearing from black men? Black women are gold-diggers, they’re drama, they’re fat and lazy, they have big mouths, they’re emasculating, etc, etc. Now I’m not saying there aren’t black women who are just absolutely despicable people, however there are good black women as well. There are black women that are quiet, hardworking, loving, caring, self-sacrificing, courageous, faithful, athletic, slim (yep, I’ve seen them), encouraging, and virtuous. You wouldn’t know that from what’s been hyped up in the media (and you know I don’t trust the media). In fact, I will posit that there are lots of these women out there, and you know what? They’re probably lonely! That’s right, they don’t have a date. Do you know why? Because you’re not looking for them!

Now I know some of you will argue, ‘Yes I have! I’ve been looking for years!’ Have you, really? Or did you confuse ‘good black woman’ with ‘good-looking black woman’ because those are two totally different things. It’s been said that men are hardwired to be very visual and to a certain extent this is true. There has to be that something that attracts a man to a woman. That being said, we can’t get too caught up in how a woman looks because as my momma always said “looks can be deceiving.” Looking for a good black woman is like going fishing. If you want a certain kind of fish, you have to have the right kind of bait. If you want a choice salmon you’ve got to have things that salmon like on your hook. If you use the wrong bait, you’ll catch something you don’t want. For example, if you know salmon like certain kinds of worms you have to put those certain kinds of worms on your hook. If you put steak or something like that on your hook, you’ll probably end up with a shark or other fish with bloodlust, and you don’t want that!! If you want a good black woman (salmon) you have to be engaging in things that will attract good black women. So I say, if you keep getting black women that are drama queens, gold-diggers, pigeons, cheaters (the sharks) and the like it’s because you’re probably doing things that attract these sorts of women to you. Now please keep in mind that when I say a ‘good’ black woman, I do not mean a woman with money. There are wonderful black women in all walks of life. There are black women who aren’t in the highest tax brackets, but will still give of what little they have of themselves and their resources to help others, and are genuine and kind people. Then there are rich black women who are nothing but gold diggers. In fact, they probably got rich by cheating their poor simp victims out of their money!!! Below I will outline and describe how to attract a good black woman or “gbw” versus how to attract a troublesome woman or “shark”.

Before I begin, I have to say a Christian of color, that if you want a really good black woman, you should look for a one that is a true woman of God. This does not mean a woman that “goes to church”. There are many women in the church that are just there to pass the time. Many of them are hunting for mates instead of looking for God: please steer clear of these types. A true woman of God does not only go to church, but lives the life outside of the church walls. She is willing to allow God to order her life according to his Word, and not according to mores of the popular culture. Now I know some of you are sighing heavily and groaning right about now because of the stereotypes our culture has fed us about Christian women. They’ve been depicted as religious fanatics, prudes, prissies, snobs, high maintenance, hypocrites, secret freaks, or in other unflattering ways. In fact, I believe that the brothers who weren’t used to women with standards came up with such names for these women because their ‘game’ didn’t work on them and they got burned. Then they wanted to blame the woman to save their crushed egos. These are the same guys who want to brag about their many ‘conquests’ with a bunch of tricks who probably made a fool out them. Let me just be straight with you all: a true woman of God is more valuable than all the tricks you could ever have in your life. Tricks come and go, and all you’re going to get from a trick is a roll in the hay. A true woman of God offers love, encouragement, support, fidelity, honesty, integrity and is a true help meet. This is a sister who will have your back for life. A true Christian black woman embodies all of the characteristics of a good black woman because God (who is Love) is at the center of her life. Now that being said, if you feel that you are still very immature and all you care about is the ‘conquest’ (which isn’t really a conquest – especially if you have to pay for it like a lot of brothers I know), then you can stop reading. But if you are mature and you really want a real committed relationship that involves giving love as well as getting love then please keep reading.

First, if you are looking for a good black woman, you have to think about where you are casting your hook. Salmon tend to swim upstream in rivers, not in the ocean. So going fishing for salmon in the middle of the Atlantic is just plain stupid. That’s where the sharks live. Same with women. If you really want a good black woman or gbw, you’re not going to find her shaking her booty, half-naked in the club! You will not find her trying to get backstage at a Jay-Z concert. (Ever wonder why some women are anxious to get backstage?) You will also not find her drunk to the point where she has lost consciousness in a bar! They are not found dropping it like it’s hot in a strip club! Nor will you find them in prison! This is not to say that a good woman can never be found in these places, but the chances or odds of them being there is infinitesimally small. You’d have a better chance at church, the library, a coffee shop, museum, supermarket, or even your job.

After you start looking in the right places, the first and most important thing that you need to know when you are trying to attract a good black woman is that she’s not impressed with the money you spend. No, I’m not crazy: it’s the truth! In fact, if you really want a quality black woman, keep that wallet closed for the first three months of the relationship! Spending lots of money on a woman, especially if it’s early in the relationship only attracts the sharks!! A quality black woman doesn’t really care about how much money you make or what you’re willing to spend on her, because she’s not looking for ‘security’ or to ‘be taken care of’. She’s already secure because she knows God is the one who she is supposed to rely on completely, not you! She trusts God to provide for her needs and is willing to work and help you financially (See Proverbs 31:10-31). The good black woman or gbw is more concerned with how you give of yourself to her. The gbw just wants you to make her some tea if she’s not feeling well, listen to her when she’s had a bad day, surprise her with a dinner you made for her on her birthday, help her with household chores when she’s overwhelmed, or be the person that she leans on when someone close to her dies. Things you buy her don’t have to be expensive, but meaningful. You could download a new book from her favorite author on her kindle and make her day. A card you designed and made yourself on your computer with your own special message would make her light up (please use quality paper and ink! No black and white on copy paper! And use your own words because she will be able tell if you got someone else to write it! Seriously- she’ll know!). No kidding! If you keep your money in your pocket (at least for the first three months) and are truly caring, genuine and are willing to give of yourself, the gbw won’t be going anywhere. In fact, too many expensive dates and presents early on will make the gwb suspicious that you are using the gifts as a deflection to keep her from seeing the darker parts of your personality, that you are bartering for sex, or that you have no common sense.  In any case it turns them off.

Sharks, on the other hand, are the insecure sisters who have tons of daddy abandonment issues and are very concerned with how much money you happen to have on hand. They don’t want just some of your money. They’re going to want all of it. They will lie and manipulate to get it. To them, you’re not a person, just a walking ATM. They have no problem bartering their bodies for money. Opening your wallet and giving too much, too soon is like jumping into the ocean with a severe laceration. Within moments the sharks will be circling. So after three months, if you seem like a dry well, they’re gone and they’re not looking back. Don’t get upset! Just be thankful.

The next important thing to remember if you want to attract a gbw is to be honest and genuine. The gbw just wants to get to know you. She doesn’t have ulterior motives. She just wants to see if you’re the person God has made for her. Any kind of swag or false persona will be a turn off. You have to know who you are. If you can’t turn off the gangsta personality, or conversely, if you can’t turn off the ‘white guy’ accent, you won’t be able to win her. (By the way, you can speak standard English without that stupid phony accent) If all you know how to talk about is money and material things, you’ll bore her. She’s also not impressed with who you know. Name-dropping will be a turn off. Game playing is another turn off. In fact, if you try that Tom and Jerry, tit for tat – ‘I can make you love me, more than I love you’ nonsense, you will lose her: permanently. And if she catches you in a lie that won’t sit well either. The gbw is up-front and expects you to be upfront, as well. She wants to know what you like, what you dislike. She wants to know how you feel about the important things in life (i.e. how you feel about God, your moral values, how you see the world). The gbw wants you to get to know her as well and not just her body or her assets.

Sharks on the other hand don’t give a rat’s behind about you. They’ll do whatever they have to do and be whatever they have to be to get you in their clutches and subsequently have access to your cash. Whatever you project is just what kind of shark you’ll get. If you’re ghetto, you’ll get some hood-rat diva. If you’re projecting bougie, you’ll get some bougie gold-digger. Sharks don’t care if you’re not genuine because they’re playing a role themselves.  To them it’s just part of the game. Sharks love name-dropping because then they can see if there are some other dudes in your circle that might be a better catch than you. They will then use you to get to that ‘better catch’. It also helps them to see if they can get a connection to advance their career aspirations (if they even have any). Sharks can talk for hours about frivolous things like cars, vacations, brands, celebrities, and other inane topics. I even knew this chick who could rap for hours about sneakers, and you didn’t have to respond to her to keep the conversation flowing! How can anyone waste so much thought on something so trifling? If it was her vocation, like if she made or sold sneakers for a living, I could understand, but a whole hour-long sermon about SNEAKERS!!! I can see talking to someone for hours trying to convince him/her to drop a drug habit. I can see hours being spent to discuss how to help a kid who is struggling in school, but SNEAKERS!!! You could leave the room, and she’d still be talking: about SNEAKERS!!! Anyway – Sharks also love playing games because they love drama. You can do all kinds of evil stuff to them and they’ll just keep coming back. Do you know why? Because they love to see themselves as those women you see portrayed in contemporary black films: the poor, forlorn, betrayed, abused, black woman. They like playing the martyr and using the sympathy card. Some will even purposely provoke you to try to get you to do something to them, and then tell people about what a bad guy you are. Case in point: I have seen women who will start punching on a brother without any provocation. She doesn’t even bother to tell the dude she’s angry let alone why! Then if the man so much as holds her hands to restrain her, she wants to call the cops and take out a restraining order. Then when the guy goes to jail, she runs down in tears to bail him out.  Sharks are crazy! If you get involved with one she’ll make you’ll wish you were dead. Seriously.

If you want a gbw, you need to watch how you treat a woman. The gbw sees herself as God sees her: a creature made in his image that is His temple. As such, she’s not going to allow you to treat her any ‘ol kind of way. Cursing, yelling, hitting will drive a gbw away in seconds. Rudeness to her or even to others is a turn-off. When she see’s you cursing out some dude because he bumped into her, she’s not impressed. She’s probably thinking ‘How long before he turns that nasty attitude my way?’ When you sit there on the train, even though you see that pregnant woman standing in front of you, a gbw’s radar goes off. At the same time, she’s going to be nice to you. She will have praise for you when you’re doing good and constructive criticism when you’re not (She will never say anything like ‘you ain’t ****!’). She has respect for you. A gbw knows how to support her man in public, and disagree in private. She cares about you. All those little things you do for her that matter, she’s willing to do for you in the same way. Gbw’s won’t cheat on you. If they’re not feeling you anymore, they’ll just break up with you. It might hurt, but you gotta respect the honesty. A gbw has standards and because she has standards she’ll have your back. Oh- and just so you know – you’re gonna have to put a ring on her if you really want her. I can hear some of you like “Aww, man. C’mon!” But really, think about it. When you go to the store to buy a soda, do you want a fresh full bottle or one that several of the employees in the store have already drank from?

If you want a shark, it doesn’t really matter how you treat her. She’s going to hang in there until she gets the cash or whatever she’s looking for. Some of them (the really crazy ones) just want a man by whatever means necessary. You don’t really mean anything to them. You’re just a cipher and they just transpose whatever fantasy they have onto you. Should you decide to leave, they might moan about it, but in a matter of weeks or even days, they’ll have another brother in your place, transposing the same fantasy onto him. Sharks have no standards. Some will be ready to take it to the sheets within moments of meeting you. I’ve always felt that if you’re willing to lay down with a woman like that then you should be just as willing to drink from the toilet. In both cases, everything you could imagine has probably been in there already. Sharks will live with you indefinitely without commitment. They are willing to settle for the title of ‘baby momma’ rather than hold out for ‘wife’. A woman who has no standards doesn’t care about herself. Now some brothers misunderstand the term ‘standards’. Having standards is not the same thing as keeping yourself up. There are a lot of women in designer clothes, looking absolutely beautiful, and smelling good, but they have no standards. They just don’t value themselves. They don’t believe that who they are in and of themselves is good enough. A woman like that can’t be trusted to have your back. They’re willing to play nice as long as they can get what they want, but the minute things don’t go their way you’ll hear “you ain’t ****!” because they’re projecting how they feel about themselves onto you. Trust me, if a woman doesn’t value herself, she can never value you!

In addition, if you want a gbw, you’re going to have to learn to be vulnerable and put her needs ahead of your own (when warranted). You’re going to have to know how to say “I love you” and mean it. You’re going to have to learn how to be intimate without having sex. You’re going to have to be patient and commitment-minded. You don’t have to do any such thing if you want a shark. Such women see sex as merely a gambit that they use to gain leverage in the relationship. No intimacy is involved. Now I know a lot of you are like “I don’t know, that sounds like a lot of metro-sexual, sensitive-brother mumbo-jumbo.” Look, I’m just keeping it real. If you want a real down-to-earth, loving sister, who doesn’t play games, you’re going to have to bring it and be real. If you want to keep things superficial, if you want to parade around like ‘the Mack’, you are free to do so, but when the sharks come, don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

The last and most important way to get a good black woman is to be a good black man. “Opposites attract” is one of the most worn out clichés I’ve ever heard. It’s also only applies to magnetic poles. Most of the time “like attracts like.” You say you want a woman that’s cultured. Ask yourself if you’re cultured. You say you want a woman that’s trustworthy. Are you trustworthy? You really want a woman with a slammin’ body. Do you have a slammin’ body? You want a genuine sistah? Are you a genuine brotha? You can’t attract what you’re not. So if you want a good black woman, but you’ve got a lot of issues, you’re going to have to do a lot of work on yourself first.

Trust me, if you follow the guidelines I’ve outlined above, you will get a good black woman. Now those of you who are used to the sharks will go through a withdrawal period, because when you stop engaging in those unhelpful dating behaviors, and hanging out in your usual spots, you’ll think there aren’t any women left because the gold-diggers will stop coming. Don’t be alarmed. It’s better to go through a season with no fish than to get fish you don’t want. If you wait a little, you’ll see that you will start attracting good black women in hordes. You’ll wonder where they all came from!

I’d like to give a word to those who want to opt for women of other races based on their hatred of Black women. To these misguided brothers: If you’re attracting black sharks, you’ll attract white sharks, Chinese sharks, Puerto Rican sharks - it doesn’t matter. You’re just more willing to put up with their crap because of their color or the status you think their color affords you. Remember if you hate yourself, you’ll only attract someone who will never love you. To any ladies reading, believe me when I tell you, I’ve seen many a brother suffering in the torment of his own creation, thinking women of the other races and cultures were somehow ‘better’. Trust me, there are guys out there who wished they’d never done it. Lot’s of them. When you choose a mate based on color rather than genuine affection, you will always lose.

So in closing, what attracts a salmon will never attract a shark, and what attracts a shark will never attract salmon. If you’re a sistah and you’re reading this, I want you to know the same thing goes for you, too. If you want a good black man, but you keep getting’ burned- check your bait, then check yourself. Peace.

Lawrence Cherry is the author of the smash hit Christian novel Commencement.  Get your Copy today!


  1. Hi Larry,

    While I think you mean well with this posting, I know for a fact you probably don't 'truly' know the majority of the Black women out in the world and why Black men are 'really' complaining about not being able to find a 'good' Black woman.

    Brothas aren't really complaining about not being able to find a 'good' Black woman, 'cause the majority of us know what the problem with them really is. The majority of Black men have given up trying to look for a good Black woman because we know that the majority of Black women are so conditioned to hate Black men, that we're better off just looking elsewhere. You've got to admit that when it comes to Black men, black women go out of their way to be exceptionally crass, rude, belligerent, condescending, and, they really give us no choice but to look elsewhere. And I know they say we can't 'handle' a strong black woman or we think they're emasculating; no, that's what THEY think we're saying, what we're really saying is life's too short to be with a self-hating, weave-headed barracuda, and we're fed up with their attitudes! And you may think that these black women are only relegated to the 'booty-shakin', club-hopper sub-set, but let me tell you, whether a black woman's got a G.E.D. or a P.H.D., THEY ALL ACT THIS WAY!! Now, if they want to continue spewing this kind of venom at us, then THEY'RE the ones who need to stop complaining about not being able to find a good Black man!

    So, let me give you an example of why ALL Black women act like this. More than likely, the black woman you meet is from a fatherless home, and they say this is because Black men don't take responsibility for their children, what's more likely to be the case is this woman's mother was the same hateful barracuda that's driven the Black man out of the home...but that's another issue. Now the female child that's born to a fatherless home is told by the time she starts walking by her mother, aunt(s), female classmates, cousins, and eventually co-workers, that Black men are NO DAMN GOOD; so when this female child turns 20, what do you think her opinion of Black men is going to be? Favorable? I think not.

    Now I have no problems with black women always going down laundry lists of reasons why they can't stand Black men, or why they can't find a good one, but usually, they don't have a Black man in their why are they mad? Me personally, as a Black man...and I think I can speak for a lot of brothas with something on the ball when I say...I won't even entertain the thought of going out with a black woman; I have in the past and I haven't met one who wasn't conditioned to hate Black men. And DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, ask some brothas if I'm not telling the truth. Again, life's too short, and I've moved on. Any self-respecting Black man with any sense will come to the same conclusion.

  2. Larry, this is an excellent blog, right on a par with Shawn's blogs. It is certainly thought provoking, and as a Black Christian woman, I don't think I've seen a better analysis of the situation than this.

    This is such a loaded and necessary-to-our-life topic that I wish you and Shawn would get together and do a book on it. You would certainly be doing us all a good service, not to mention serving God with some commonsense and compassiion for your own. Won't you two consider it? The results might surprise you.