First black Bachelorette announced

The next Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay poses for her contestant photo on the Bachelor. Lindsay is the first Black Bachelorette lead. Production photo source:

After 15 years, 33 seasons and much turmoil over a lack of diversity in the cast, Bachelor nation makes history by choosing their first black lead for the next season of the Bachelorette.

Rachel Lindsay, a 31-year-old lawyer from Dallas and fan-favorite on Nick Viall’s season of the Bachelor, was named the next Bachelorette on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday night.

Besides Lindsay, the only non-caucasian lead of a Bachelor show was Juan Pablo Galavis, who starred in season 18.

The show has been greatly criticized for their casting choices. In a 2011 interview for Entertainment Weekly, Mike Fleiss, creator of the Bachelor, commented on how the show was predominantly white.

“We really tried, but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity. It’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward,” he said. “I wish they would.”

In 2012, Fleiss was sued, alongside three production companies involved in the show, by Nashville residents who auditioned for the Bachelor, but claimed they didn’t get to the second round because they were African American.

Now, with Lindsay making Bachelor history, there is a lot of excitement for her upcoming season along with objection towards how long it took to happen.

Black Student Union board member April Tate ’17 is excited about the new lead but also has some reservations about the future of the show.

“I like that she’s African American and a person of color, but also I think that it shouldn’t have taken this long to have a person of color,” she said. “I’m wondering what the reception of it is going to be because a lot of people say, ‘oh it’s good we’re moving forward,’ but I feel like a lot of people are going to have negative reactions towards it once it actually starts.

“I feel like people are rooting for her for the wrong reasons. It’s kind of like with Obama, some people actually liked his policies, but some people only liked him because he was Black.”

Although it’s 33 seasons worth of weight to carry, Lindsay feels no pressure going forward.

In an interview with Good Morning America, she said, “I don’t feel added pressure, you know. I’m honored to have this opportunity and to represent myself as an African American woman and I just hope that people rally behind me like they did in Nick’s season. Just realize that my journey is, you know, I’m just trying to find love, and even though I’m an African American woman, it’s no different than any other bachelorette.”

Lindsay’s season of the Bachelorette premieres in May on ABC.