African American Language

Black Mens’ Approach: Just a Friendly Competition?

Posted on: March 10, 2011

 Have you ever took the time to think about how you interact with the opposite sex?

 When attempting to get the opposite sex’s attention, it’s all about the first impression and approach.  African-American males have a very different view on how to approach a female than a white male. Black men use a different technique that involves more than just verbal communication.  I will be going into detail about the various forms of communication black males  do to grasp a  female’s  attention.

In Black culture, it is customary for black men to approach black women in a manner that openly expresses a sexual interest.(Kochman 75) When a black male first approaches a female, the first thing he is sure to acknowledge is physical features. In other American cultures, this is often seen as a form of sexual assault. Black men make references to body parts on women as a way to show they are appealing.  Simple phrases such as “Don’t hurt em'”, “Hey baby, let me talk to you for a second,” just to give some examples, are used to get the woman’s initial attention. African-American males generally have phases or steps they go through to “get the girl.”

Black males do resort to touching a female to get her attention.  This brings on the forms of body language that is used. An example of this would grabbing a female’s arm. They use this form when the female shows non-interest. Nevertheless, this shows a challenge . Since Black men love these, this is not their cue to leave the woman alone. 

Direct rejection is the main way to stop pursuit. A forceful verbal insult usually stops the black male from trying to “get to know you.”

Black males recognize that women make the final decision on who they select to give a chance. This “decision” becomes a challenge to them. African-American males love challenges. They are very competitive.  Nonetheless, they see the woman as a “prize,” based on how hard it is to “get” the female. By getting the females number or any other form of contact is seen as “winning.”  Not suprisingly, this  is very similar to a game itself because the whole win or lose aspect.   I would like to end the entry on asking a question.

Is this form of body and verbal language REALLY an efficient way to “get the girl”?

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyJYQVCYdb8&feature=related

By: Raven Hudson March 10,2011

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25 Responses to "Black Mens’ Approach: Just a Friendly Competition?"

I agree what everything you said, in that relates to an article I read in my self and society class in which was by Razian, D. (2007) The girl hunt: Urban nightlife and the performance of masculinity as collective activity. Symbolic Interaction. It was study that a white sociologist did in Philladelphia or Boston can think accurately about the city but it probrably was because it was done on the comparisons of white and black males. Basically, on how these interactions with male counterparts or their bestfriends how they get hyped up before going out in preparing in actively being able to get a girl. They called their best friend or “side kick” the wingman the one who helps give them pointers in achieving picking up the girl. The article basically is saying that guys feel like their masculinity is defined on picking up a girl and the approval from other male counterparts and when not achieved the feel less of a male. The same thing with black males they try to use their method of “running their game” as stated in achieving through that method. Just thought this would interest you since it relates!

-Kirstin Plunkett

Hi Kirstin,
Yes I see how that relates to my blog. Black men do define their masculinity by approval from their “boys” and the attention they get from females. It seems their whole method of “getting the girl” is a strategy.

Having this pointed out to me is interesting as a male. A good way to hurt your relationship with another guy is to insult their girl in any way shape or form! If another guy asks me what i think of their new girl friend, if i say anything negative about her i might not be in good terms with them any more; probably because (as you said) their masculinity just “took a hit”. It is one of those things that you know but are not aware of because you are surrounded by it the whole time. Very interesting post!!!

Ethan Grunst

I agree with what you wrote about how and they get women and why they do it in that way. Your link was hilarious and I have seen that happen in real life! I think that while this is embedded in our culture, some men have to do a little better at trying to “get” women. It is not so much as the body language but it is the verbal that turns most women off. Like the woman said in the video, many women don’t want a rich “baller” they just want somone who has goals and values and wants to do something realistic.
~Lauren Scott~

I agree with the last part of your comment. It is what is said to the female that is disrespectful or a “turn off.” It’s like the difference between ” you look nice in that dress” vs. ” you have a nice rack in that top.” I believe it’s all how things are said.

**Raven H.**

I agree with you 100% because men don’t need riches to pick up females for real, to me i believe its all about how a man carrys himself and what he want out of life. I don’t want no man who lays up in the house all day and do nothing I want a man whose going to work and bring that check home. I also agree that the way some, not all, just some men approach and talk to females turn them off because when men come up to me and say…”What’s up shawty?” I just say “….Hi” and keep walking I don’t want to hear that. So body language and verbal do affect the outcome of a conversation between men and women.

I agree with you 100% that men don’t need riches to pick up women for real to me it’s all about how a man carrys himself and what he wants to do with his life. Because I don’t want a man who is just going to sit up in the house all day I want I man whose going to bring that check home. I also agree that the way men approach and talk to women can turn females off because I’ve turned some men down. So body language and verbal can affect the outcome of a conversation between women and men.

Shaniquequa Tyler

Coming from another culture I’ve always been interested in how people interact. I’ve also always limited my dating choices to stay within my cultural realm I guess you could say. We that is since recently, and I’ve noticed that there is a huge difference on how African American males pick up females as opposed to males from Somali (east Africa) who I am used to dealing with. And I would agree that African American males usually take a more forceful and “in your face” type of approach. But as you said at the end of the day they always leave it up to the female to decide. Reading you post I could help but think back to slavery and how African American males where used for breeding, so all they had to go off of were physical features. I wonder if that explains why they approach females on a sexual level.

Marian Ahmed

I never thought about the slavery aspect. That is a great point! People have to realize that Black men have been approaching women like this for years. It you look at 1960s black films, you see how Black men call the women “foxy” for example. Old approaches just new slang or language.

** Raven H.**

I think that this article has many true statements about what African American men see as acceptable when letting a female know they are interested. I really have never experienced any real aggressive behavior from any black men. Talk and actions do not hurt anyone and it is their way of letting you know they think you are attractive and they are interested. People should always have the option of expressing themselves as long as no one is getting hurt in the process.

Briggette O

Hi Briggette,
I think it’s good that you have never experienced any real aggressive behavior from black men. I have experienced some that I have found too aggressive. It is true that talk and actions is the way of letting people know you’re interested but, there is a way to say things. You can tell someone your interested without making them feel violated in the process.

**Raven H.**

Hey,
I agree with you when you say that people should have the option and/or right to express themselves if they feel that someone is attractive to them. But at the same time they need to watch what they say because what they say my turn that person off or maybe even become offensive to them in some way.

Shaniquequa Tyler

While I do agree with the insight and your insinuation that these “pick up” strategies do appear quite comically absurd when you take a step back, however I would like to hear from you and some of our other female classmates as to how/why such techniques are continuously used if they weren’t successful? God knows for as many times a man gets turned down after employing such “pick-up” strategies, there are just as many successful outcomes that result from such interactions. Having used similar tactics myself as an adolescent , I can honestly say I’ve experienced as many positive results as I have negatives in this particular context. In my opinion, it all comes down to the mental makeup of the targeted female conquest. For as many women who would take such an approach as an insult, there are just as many that take such interactions as a complement. What do you think?

By: Brandon Davis

This post is very easy to relate to as a girl! Personally, I notice regularly the difference in the way a white male hits on me compared to the way a black male might attempt to pick me up. Your ending question prompts a very simple yet in depth discussion. I feel like whether this type of flirting is effective or not depends on the girl that the black male is flirting with. Although this is a simple answer, the discussion comes from what might make this effective for this girl in particular. With the prevalence of interracial relationships these days, I do not necessarily think that black women accept these methods of flirtation more than white women. Due to this, I wonder what other aspects of a girl’s personality make her respond the the typical, generic pick up methods of a black man.

Sarah Harmon
AA Comm Online

Hi Sarah,
I am glad you can relate to my post. I do concur with you that it depends on the female if she finds the way Black men approach them as acceptable or not. I think it all comes down to how the male says they are interested. I believe a female who is not use to compliments or thrive for a male’s attention, like this type of behavior. Just a thought though.

*Raven H.*

I completely agree with this. A girl who can be more selective, or is so used to being hit on and tired of being treated that way, will go more for the man who treats her like another respectable human being. But the girl who does not get hit on much will notice the outright interest of the man and will the more susceptible to his come-ons.

To comment on you’r last post Sarah, I wonder if there is also an element of “what one is used to” involved. A girl might get used to or “resistant”, if you will, to a flirtation method that she has been exposed to for her whole dating life. African American men might find their usual tactics to be more successful against Caucasian women because they haven’t been exposed to it as much and might find them “exotic” or “different”. Same might be true for the other way around.

Ethan Grunst

I agree with everything you said. I experience encounters like this all the time. Being approached in the manner that you spoke of doesn’t really bother me I guess because it’s something that I am used to and expect for African American men to do when they are trying to approach a female. They do like a challenge and you must indeed be forceful and stern when you are not interested in their coming on to you. That type of flirting is not always effective but society isn’t teaching them any other way.

Honestly, a woman already knows if she is going to give a man the time of day as soon as she sees him (physical attraction), so all the man has to do to get the girl is say the right words when he approaches her and he’s in, so really the man doesn’t win the woman the woman already chose him. I know this may hurt some male egos but its the truth “get over it!” you don’t really have game because game just means liar; your a good liar, that’s why most very attractive men get turned down because of their arrogance and egos; the woman decided she didn’t want to talk to you for whatever reason and the man took it hard. In the end, this form of body and verbal language is really not an efficient way to get the girl.

Damien Bell

I completely agree with you, I already know whether a guy is going to be able to get my number a few seconds after his initial “hey ma”….there’s nothing you said in here that I feel was wrong. you hit everything that I was going to put down on the nose. Game is just lies and most men don’t realize that we can see right through that. You’re completely right, in my opinion, i feel that a lot of black males need to cut out the game approach and just be real. (Though a lot of them won’t or can’t be real, because their intentions are never to be real in the first place.) But i am so very happy to hear all of this coming from a black male wish there were more who saw the world like you!

I agree because a girl does decide if she wants to talk to that guy or not or to even get to know him and saying the right things to a women could put him one step forward instead of turning a women off by saying the wrong words. Plus I learned something new I didn’t know that having game means liar but in my opinion u liar unless you can prove it.

Shaniquequa Tyler

This is a very interesting post. This is something that I always kinda wondered about if each race had its own approach. This post led me to ask a female that I know who is dating an African American male to see what she had to say about this subject. She agreed that there is a difference between the way white guys and black guys approach women. This is very interesting I think and just one more way that both races have diversity in the way they do things.

Jeff Gardner

Comm 275-01

I agree with you 100% Raven, especially in the persistency of a black male. Somehow, in a black male’s mind, when a woman says “No”, what the male hears is “TRY HARDER!”. But I can definitely claim that more than half of the time, that’s exactly what the girl wants him to do, try harder. A female will put up this “front” like she doesn’t want to entertain the idea of being more than friends with him, simply because she doesn’t want to seem “easy”. I truly believe that the black males approach is all a “game” and how well he plays it is the result of if he gets the female or not. You evidently agree with this concept by using the words “winning, prize, etc.” Very interesting post!

Leyou Belayneh

I personally think that the effectiveness of the approach has to do with the female who is approached and her preferences. I know that this would personally not work on me, but I have a lot of friends who love when guys approach them in that way. I have seen this happen countless times and really the outcome can go either way. So again, I think it ultimately has to do with the woman being approached.
-Jenna
COMM 275-01

I agree with most of the post. In my opinion black males are a bit more forward when they first meet a girl. The part in the article that I agreed with the most was where it said black men tend to talk about the females body features. I actually see that happen all of the time mostly with black males.

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