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Baisden, Michael 1963–

Michael Baisden 1963–

Writer, motivational speaker, talk show host

At one point in Michael Baisden's life, success seemed to elude him. A Chicago small-business owner and public-transit employee, he had written a nonfiction book on the subject of infidelity in relationships. Several major publishers refused to publish his book. Undaunted, Baisden borrowed the funds to publish it himself. That book, Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat, touched a chord with readers, and his success story has become one of the most remarkable in the African-American book-publishing industry.

In the early 1990s Baisden was a route driver for the Chicago Transit Authority and the owner of a faltering small business. Moved by the tales of heartache and duplicity that he heard from his friends, he decided to begin collecting their stories for a book that would provide some insight into modern relationships. In order to get his book published, Baisden sold his car, borrowed money, and founded Legacy Publishing. Legacy's debut book was Never Satisfied, which was issued in 1995.

Never Satisfied is a collection of interviews with men and women who relate their experiences in deceitful relationships. Baisden writes extensively about the common perception that men seem to be commitment-phobic. He rejects several theories, and argues that women behave unconscionably as well—especially women who knowingly date married or otherwise involved men or turn a blind eye to the infidelities of their partners. Through anecdotes and his own conjectures, Baisden constructs a scenario in which these situations occur. “Most cheating men, especially the married ones, will come right out and tell her the details of his situation,” he writes in Never Satisfied. “This will allow her to make a judgment as to whether or not she can go along with the program. Respect and consideration for his wife or girlfriend is absolutely necessary if the relationship has any chance at longevity.”

A Fresh Approach

In Never Satisfied Baisden focuses on how an unfaithful man is forced to construct a world of lies, and how the contemporary dance-club scene helps to foster infidelity. “Just as the animal hunter relies on guns, traps, and camouflage to capture his prey, the cheating man depends on smooth talk, good looks, and the low morals of his victims to accomplish his goals,” Baisden writes. In the book's introduction he remarks, “What I am attempting to do, at the very least, is to expose the games that are quite seriously destroying our relationships with our women, and as a direct result, affecting our ability to maintain healthy relationships which could be beneficial to both ourselves and the children that are unsuspecting players in too many of those very games.”

Baisden embarked on a series of exhaustive tours to promote his book. He promoted Never Satisfied in bookstores, nightclubs, and even hair salons, and it became a phenomenal success. Never Satisfied sold nearly fifty thousand copies. Baisden used the profits to pay back the money he had borrowed and to write his first novel, Men Cry in the Dark. Published in 1997, it sold more than thirty thousand copies in hardcover alone. The plot concerns four friends from Chicago's South Side, touching on their attempts at financial entrepreneurship, relationships, single parenthood, and interracial dating.

Hunger for Love

In Men Cry in the Dark Baisden created a group of characters whose economic situations and social quandaries reflected issues within affluent, urban African-American life in the 1990s. One of the characters, Derrick, is a former computer-industry associate who left the corporate world to launch his own magazine. Although he is sometimes arrogant in his interpersonal relationships, he seeks a committed partnership with a woman. Derrick is forced to reassess his attitude when he meets Angela, a woman who is a genuine match for him. Derrick's friend Tony is the classic Romeo, but he is also a single parent who is devoted to his daughter. When Tony decides that he wants to settle down and marry his girlfriend, the mother of his young daughter begins to make trouble. Ben is a successful Chicago florist who is consistently railroaded by uncaring women. His friends often remind him that he only dates women who are too young for him and eager to take advantage of his generosity. Mark, the fourth male in the novel, is frequently criticized by his friends for refusing to date African-American women.

Part of the success of Men Cry in the Dark came from what Publishers Weekly writer Carol Taylor described as its collective appeal. “Black readers, like all readers, want recognizable and realistic images of themselves and their lives, not stereotypes endlessly replayed in the same venues, neighborhoods, relationships and careers,” noted Taylor. Baisden is often compared with other newly successful African-American male authors who explore black life in fiction, such as Eric Jerome Dickey and Omar Tyree. “These writers deal thoughtfully with the male side of relationship issues while doling out a healthy dose of sexy escapism,” asserted Taylor. She also noted Baisden's remarkable ability to publish his own works, citing industry “reports that he [Baisden] has declined offers to join a traditional publisher.”

A Popular Motivational Speaker

The success of his first two books, combined with his attractive looks, made Baisden a popular figure on the book-signing circuit. Thousands of women often attended his book signings to hear his forthright, but firm, relationship advice. The audiences grew so large that Baisden began a series of seminars, Love, Lust & and Lies, in which he discussed some of the problems in contemporary relationships and how both men and women might begin to create a healthier pattern of love within their relationships.

Baisden's 1999 novel, The Maintenance Man: It's Midnight, Do You Know Where Your Woman Is?, addressed similar themes. One of the novel's lead characters is Malcolm Tremell, a handsome, successful male escort who is desperate to find a more respectable job. This desire grows increasingly stronger after he meets a wonderful woman and is unable to reveal his true profession to her. Malcolm's best friend, Simon, owns an Atlanta nightclub and learns that his fiancée is possibly involved with a handsome pastor. Another character is Teddy, a male stripper who has no qualms about taking advantage of women. One of the novel's female characters, Ariel, works as the nightclub's manager. She would like to leave her job at the nightclub and become a wife and mother. However, Ariel's family and friends constantly remind her that her dating standards are much too high.

The Publishers Weekly article called Maintenance Man “a steamy bad-boy novel full of the stuff readers crave—love, sex, betrayal and money.” Taylor described Baisden as part of the wave of what has been termed the “Brotherman” genre—the counterpart of the resoundingly successful “Sistergirl” fiction exemplified by female African-American writers like Terry McMillan.

At a Glance …

Born June 23, 1963, in Chicago, IL; married (divorced); children: one daughter.

Career: Chicago Department of Transit, route driver, early 1990s; author of Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat, 1995, Men Cry in the Dark, 1997, The Maintenance Man: It's Midnight, Do You Know Where Your Woman Is?, 1999, and God's Gift to Women, 2002; founder of Legacy Publishing; conducted Love, Lust & Lies seminars nationwide; host of radio and television talk shows; adapted The Maintenance Man into a stage play, 2003; signed film-adaptation deal with Screen Gems Studios for The Maintenance Man, 2007.

Addresses: Home—New York, NY, and Miami, FL. Office—c/o The Michael Baisden Show, 13901 Midway Rd., Ste. 102-437, Dallas, TX 75244-4388.

Reached New Audiences

Baisden's Love, Lust & Lies seminars grew to become sell-out events in several American cities. The phrase also became the title of his afternoon drive-time radio show, which began airing in 2003 on 98.7 Kiss FM/WRKS-FM in New York City. In February of 2005 the show was picked up for national syndication by the ABC Radio Network. The media presence was eerily foreshadowed by his 2002 novel, God's Gift to Women. Its plot centered around Julian Payne, the nationally syndicated radio host of a program titled Love, Lust & Lies. Payne is a widower with a ten-year-old daughter whose first genuine relationship since the loss of his wife is undermined by his cheating. The title was published by Baisden's Legacy house, but it was then picked up by Simon & Schuster in 2003 and spent much of that year on the Essence best-seller list. “Baisden presents a straightforward narrative filled with approachable, easy to relate to characters,” wrote Binti L. Villinger in Black Issues Book Review.

At the same time God's Gift to Women was enjoying success, The Maintenance Man was proving to be one of Baisden's more enduring titles. It became a stage play in 2003, and in 2007 the film rights were acquired by Screen Gems Studios. Carl Franklin, director of Devil in a Blue Dress, was attached to the project. By this point Baisden had also conquered the small screen with the debut of Baisden After Dark on TVOne, a cable channel aimed at African-American viewers. The hour-long show began airing in 2007 and modeled itself on traditional talk-show format, with a pair of sidekicks—comedian George Willborn and bandleader Morris Day—along with two or three guests from various entertainment or professional fields.

Infidelity and the root causes of it—and its effects on a relationship even with one's self—remain the core of Baisden's motivational mission via television and elsewhere. Interviewed by Ebony about the overwhelming success of The Maintenance Man, the author confessed that “even when I was married, I was single…. I was never faithful to my wife. And I tell people that all over the country. And even that experience helped me grow,” he explained. “Through my infidelity, through my immaturity, through my insecurities as a young man, that is the thing that I saw was holding me back the most-a lack of honesty and a lack of integrity.” Baisden remains single and has homes in New York City and Miami.

Selected writings

Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat, Legacy Publishing, 1995.

Men Cry in the Dark, Legacy Publishing, 1997.

The Maintenance Man: It's Midnight, Do You Know Where Your Woman Is?, Legacy Publishing, 1999.

God's Gift to Women, Legacy Publishing, 2002, Simon & Schuster, 2003.

Sources

Periodicals

Black Issues Book Review, September-October 2002, p. 29.

Ebony, October 2003, p. 26.

Publishers Weekly, December 13, 1999, p. 37.

Online

The Michael Baisden Show,http://www.michaelbaisden.com (accessed January 24, 2008).

—Carol Brennan

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"Baisden, Michael 1963–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Baisden, Michael 1963–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/baisden-michael-1963-0

"Baisden, Michael 1963–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved October 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/baisden-michael-1963-0

Baisden, Michael 1963–

Michael Baisden 1963

Author

A Fresh Approach

Hunger for Lave

A Popular Motivational Speaker

Selected writings

Sources

At one point in Michael Baisdens life, success seemed to elude him. A Chicago smallbusiness owner and public-transit employee, he had written a nonfiction book on the subject of infidelity in relationships. Several major publishers refused to publish his book. Undaunted, Baisden borrowed the funds to publish it himself. That book, Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat, touched a chord with readers, and his success story has become one of the most remarkable in the African American book-publishing industry.

Baisden was a route driver for the Chicago Transit Authority in the early 1990s, and the owner of a faltering small business. Moved by the tales of heartache and duplicity that were told to him by his friends, he decided to begin collecting their stories for a book that would provide some insight into modern relationships. In order to get his book published, Baisden sold his car, borrowed money, and founded Legacy Publishing. Legacys debut book was Never Satisfied, which was issued in 1995. Never Satisfied is a collection of interviews with men and women who relate their experiences in deceitful relationships. Baisden writes extensively about the common perception that men seem to be commitment-phobic. He rejects several theories, and argues that women behave unconscionably as wellespecially women who knowingly date married or otherwise involved men, or turn a blind eye to the infidelities of their partner. Through anecdotes and his own conjectures, Baisden constructs a scenario in which these situations occur. Most cheating men, especially the married ones, will come right out and tell her the details of his situation, he writes in Never Satisfied. This will allow her to make a judgment as to whether or not she can go along with the program. Respect and consideration for his wife or girlfriend is absolutely necessary if the relationship has any chance at longevity.

A Fresh Approach

In Never Satisfied, Baisden focuses on how an unfaithful man is forced to construct a world of lies, and how the contemporary dance-club scene helps to foster infidelity. Just as the animal hunter relies on guns, traps, and camouflage to capture his prey, the cheating man depends on smooth talk, good looks, and the low morals of his victims to accomplish his goals, Baisden writes. In the books introduction, he remarks, What I

At a Glance

Born in 1963; single; children: one daughter.

Career: Chicago Department of Transit, route driver, early 1990s; author of NeverSatisfied: How and Why Men Cheat, 1995, Men Cry in the Dark, 1997, The-Maintenance Man: Its Midnight, Do You Know Where Your Woman Is?, 1999; founder of Legacy Publishing.

Addresses: Home Atlanta, GA. Office Legacy Publishing, PO. Box 49644, Atlanta, GA 30359.

am attempting to do, at the very least, is to expose the games that are quite seriously destroying our relationships with our women, and as a direct result, affecting our ability to maintain healthy relationships which could be beneficial to both ourselves and the children that are unsuspecting players in too many of those very games.

Baisden embarked on a series of exhaustive tours to promote his book. He promoted Never Satisfied in bookstores, nightclubs, and even hair salons, and it became a phenomenal success. Never Satisfied sold nearly 50,000 copies. Baisden used the profits to pay back the money he had borrowed and to write his first novel, Men Cry in the Dark. Published in 1997, it sold more than 30,000 copies in hardcover alone. The plot revolves around four friends from Chicagos South Side, and touches upon their attempts at financial entrepreneurship, relationships, single parenthood, and interracial dating.

Hunger for Lave

In Men Cry in the Dark, Baisden created a group of characters whose economic situations and social quandaries reflected issues within affluent, urban African American life in the 1990s. One of the characters, Derrick, is a former computer-industry associate who left the corporate world to launch his own magazine. Although he is sometimes arrogant in his interpersonal relationships, he seeks a committed partnership with a woman. Derrick is forced to reassess his attitude when he meets Angela, a woman who is a genuine match for him. Derricks friend, Tony, is the classic Romeo, but also a single parent who is devoted to his daughter. When Tony decides that he wants to settle down and marry his girlfriend, the mother of his young daughter begins to make trouble. Ben is a successful Chicago florist who is consistently railroaded by uncaring women. His friends often remind him that he only dates women who are too young for him, and eager to take advantage of his generosity. Mark, the fourth male in the novel, is frequently criticized by his friends for refusing to date African American women.

Part of the success of Men Cry in the Dark came from what Publishers Weekly writer Carol Taylor described as its collective appeal. Black readers, like all readers, want recognizable and realistic images of themselves and their lives, not stereotypes endlessly replayed in the same venues, neighborhoods, relationships and careers, noted Taylor. Baisden is often compared with other newly successful African American male authors who explore black life in fiction, such as Eric Jerome Dickey and Omar Tyree. These writers deal thoughtfully with the male side of relationship issues while doling out a healthy dose of sexy escapism, asserted Taylor. She also noted Baisdens remarkable ability to publish his own works, citing industry reports that he ]Baisden] has declined offers to join a traditional publisher.

A Popular Motivational Speaker

The success of his first two books, combined with his attractive looks, made Baisden a popular figure on the book-signing circuit. Thousands of women often attended his book signings to hear his forthright, but firm, relationship advice. The audiences grew so large that Baisden began a series of seminars, Love, Lust and Lies, in which he discussed some of the problems in contemporary relationships and how both men and women might begin to create a healthier pattern of love within their relationships. His 1999 novel, The Maintenance Man: Its Midnight, Do You Know Where Your Woman Is?, addressed similar themes. One of the novels lead characters is Malcolm Tremell, a handsome, successful male escort who is desperate to find a more respectable job. This desire grows increasingly stronger after he meets a wonderful woman, and is unable to reveal his true profession to her. Malcolms best friend, Simon, owns an Atlanta nightclub, and learns that his fiancée is possibly involved with a handsome pastor. Another character is Teddy, a male stripper who has no qualms about taking advantage of women. One of the novels female characters, Ariel, works as the nightclubs manager. She would like to leave her job at the nightclub and become a wife and mother. However, Ariels family and friends constantly remind her that her dating standards are much too high.

The Publishers Weekly article called Maintenance Man a steamy bad-boy novel full of the stuff readers cravelove, sex, betrayal and money. Taylor described Baisden as part of the wave of what has been termed the Brotherman genrethe counterpart of the resoundingly successful Sistergirl fiction exemplified by female African American writers like Terry McMillan. Baisden is single and lives in Atlanta.

Selected writings

Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat, Legacy Publishing, 1995.

Men Cry in the Dark, Legacy Publishing, 1997.

The Maintenance Man: Its Midnight, Do You Know Where Your Woman Is?, Legacy Publishing, 1999.

Sources

Publishers Weekly, December 13, 1999, p. 37.

Other

Additional information for this profile was provided by http://www.michaelbaisden.com.

Carol Brennan

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Baisden, Michael 1963–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Baisden, Michael 1963–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/baisden-michael-1963

"Baisden, Michael 1963–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved October 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/baisden-michael-1963