The Bachelor Is Making Black History—but Folks Are Wondering if It'll Actually Include Black Love

The Bachelor – “2501”
The Bachelor – “2501”
Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

It’s 2021, and we kicked off the first full week on Monday night by getting to know the first-ever Black Bachelor. Introducing Matt James, the leading man of the 25th season of The Bachelor—a season the New York Post has referred to as “the horniest season yet.”

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Other than the usual Bachelor hoopla from existing fans of the franchise, this season is definitely getting extra attention for its history-making star, and with that comes extra scrutiny. For example, one particular clip from the season premiere went viral, thanks to media personality Jessie Woo’s commentary.

In the clip, Matt talks to show host Chris Harrison about the “pressure” he puts on himself as the first Black Bachelor.

“It’s like, people want me to end up with a certain type of person,” he says in the clip. “And I get that…”

Harrison, pretty much-echoing everyone else, asks him to clarify what that means. Basically, he wants him to just put it plainly.

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“My mom is white, my dad is Black and…”, Matt starts, before Jessie yells, “I like white women!!”—basically, finishing his thought for him. Because that’s what he’s really getting at, right?

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“You’ve got people cheering for you to find love and then you have people cheering for you to end up with a specific person of a specific race,” Matt continues, still not just saying what the fuck he means.

“He letting us know out the gate—ain’t about to be no African love story over here!” Jessie cackles in the clip.

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One of the white woman contestants, Abigail ended up getting Matt’s first impression rose that night (particularly due to their connection when she revealed to him that she was born deaf and wears a Cochlear implant), so the swirlin’ commences.

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For those hopeful for some Black Love representation, there are Black contestants who look to have a long-run shot, such as Chelsea, who seems to—at the very least—share a passionate kiss with Matt at some point in the season, per the promo trailer...though, we all know how edits can be manipulated to tease a certain storyline that doesn’t actually end up happening.

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Matt’s season actually follows the most recent season of The Bachelorette, which ended up starring a Black woman, Tayshia Adams, after the initial Bachelorette found love too early in the season to continue. In fact, The Bachelorette has a head start on its male counterpart, as the first-ever Black Bachelorette was Rachel Lindsay in 2017, for the series’ 13th season (which also featured the most diverse cast in Bachelor franchise history at the time).

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I guess we’ll see how the rest of the season goes!

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

DISCUSSION

feministonfire
FeministOnFire

Who watches Bachelor thinking they’re going to see Black love? Has there ever even been a Black contestant that didn’t purposefully do the Kardashian vocal burr, talk about their diverse upbringing in the suburbs or espoused ANY pro-Black sentiments besides their own desire for personal uplift and promotion?!

Of COURSE this nigga is gonna end up with a non-Black chick. He came on the show with white girls, for white girls and to the exclusion of Black girls. Besides, he got the trait from his Daddy (along with sickle cell)!