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By Autumn Brown, Managing Editor
On Monday, January 4, 2021, the world met our first Black male Bachelor, Matt James. Though I “hate-watch” The Bachelor, it helps to have a handsome man to look at through my grimacing at the screen.
After more than 20 seasons and hundreds of episodes, the popular dating show is finally featuring a Black man, with the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, gracing our screens just four years ago in 2017.
After Matt James announced that he would be the next Bachelor 🤵🏾on Good Morning American last year, a record number of applications flooded in from women applying for a chance at Jame’s affection–and ultimately a marriage proposal.
More recently, Bachelor’s and bachelorette’s have been chosen after being a rejected contestant on the show. What makes Matt James unique as season 25’s Bachelor is that he is the first person to be plucked from ordinary life in recent years.
James is a family-oriented 28-year-old commercial real estate broker who resides in New York City. Though, it is not his day job that has every woman in American swooning. In addition to real estate, Matt leads ABC Food Tours, a non-profit he founded that takes kids on food and fitness tours throughout the city, with 50% of participants being homeless students.
Are you in love yet? 😍 Because I was after seeing clips of him working with the children he serves.
The North Carolina native is the product of interracial parents (his dad is Black, mom is white) and is steadfast in his Christian values. To kick off his opening speech, he bowed his head and led a prayer.🙏🏾
At this point, I was ready to jump through the screen and insert myself into the competition.
I am confident that this season will not hold back on the drama while also addressing racial undertones within dating for interracial persons. In episode one, Matt acknowledged the pressure he feels being the first Black Bachelor, including outside judgments on interracial relationships.
He says in an interview with the host, Chris, “You’ve got people who have certain views–old school views–on what a relationship and what love looks like. You’ve got people who are cheering for you to find love, and then you’ve got people who are cheering for you to end up with a specific person, a specific person of a specific race.”
Matt goes on to say, “That’s something that kept me up at night. I don’t want to piss off Black people…I don’t want to piss off white people. But I’m both of those. How do I please everybody?”
Well, Matt, you can’t. So pick runway model Chelsea because that dress 💃🏾was the MVP of the season premiere!
The Bachelor airs Monday nights at 7 pm CST.