Important Black History Month news (Ha): The first black “Bachelorette”

rachel1

A couple of months ago I had a breakfast interview at Howley’s with former “The Bachelorette” contestant Ryan Beckett of West Palm Beach, and I asked if he thought there was ever going to be a non-white star of ABC’s dating franchise, since most of the contestants of color got bounced early. He smiled like he knew something.

“What do you know? You can’t even tell me if you know something, can you?” I said.

“I don’t know anything,” Ryan answered, although he was still smiling suspiciously.

Well, now, we all know – “I am so excited!!! It’s about time!!!!,” Ryan emailed me after the confirmation that stunning, smary attorney Rachel Lindsay of Dallas, who also happens to be African-American, will be the star of this coming’s season of “The Bachelorette.”

The announcement came officially on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” although there were spoiler Tweets all day long from ABC, and spoilers from other sites even before that. It’s weird that as of the end of last night’s “The Bachelor,” Rachel was still in the mix with repeat offender Nick Viall. But apparently that didn’t work out and now she’s got her own thing going.

And that’s great. I’m happy that the show will finally acknowledge that the beauty of black women, who dating site statistics and even suspicious science, have given a hard time.  (I’m currently dating again, and even some of the people that Match.com matches me with don’t like black women among their preferences. That’s your choice, of course, but do better, Match.) Then again, this is an admittedly addictive but silly show where a single person “dates” several people at the same time, claiming to look for love while mugging dramatically and trying not to pretend they’re dating several people.

So it’s not, you know, voting rights or Brown V. Board of Education or anything. But there’s now more equality in the chance to look silly on a dating show, so, yay?