Matt James Makes History as the First Black 'Bachelor'

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Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new bachelor. On Good Morning America on Friday, 28-year-old Matt James was revealed as the franchise's first black bachelor. James' casting has come in the wake of national protests championing the Black Lives Matter movement -- along with pressure from fans to diversify the show which, historically speaking, has been mostly white.

  • So. Who is Matt James?

    Well, for one, he hasn't been on a previous season of the show. Months ago, he was cast to be a contestant on the upcoming season of The Bachelorette with Clare Crawley, but because of the global health situation, production on the season was put on hold. Typically, Clare's season would have already been shot by now with a set air date of sometime toward the end of the year.

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  • Die-hard 'Bachelor' fans may recognize Matt. 

    The reason? He's best friends with Tyler Cameron, who starred in Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette. In fact, the two are so close that they've even been quarantining together for the past few months in Florida, and because of this, Matt has amassed quite the following on social media. (At the time of writing this, he has over 200,000 follower on Instagram.)

    The pair went to Wake Forest University together.

  • Matt is proud to be the first black bachelor. 

    Speaking on Good Morning America, Matt said he's "honored" to be the first black bachelor. "When Rachel [Lindsay] speaks, we listen," he said. "She has a very important voice in all this, being the first black woman, person of color to be a lead, and ... this is hopefully the first of many black men to be in the position I'm at now."

    He added: "It's an honor. I'm just going to lean into myself and how my mom raised me, and hopefully when people invite me into their homes on Monday night ... they see that diverse love stories are beautiful."

  • He's an athlete and a businessman. 

    While at school, Matt played football, and for a time, he tried to make it his career. According to Entertainment Tonight, he gave himself a year to make it in the NFL, but ultimately, he didn't make the cut. Since then, he's been putting his economics degree to use with his job as a research analyst at a commercial real estate company in New York City.

  • No doubt, Matt's going to make an incredible bachelor. 

    In addition to being smart, caring (he loves working with kids!), and, well, easy on the eyes, Matt is a hard worker who values diversity. In 2019, he said in an interview: "The thing about NYC, regardless of your culture, religion, gender, etc. if you're competent and work hard then you will succeed! You aren't discriminated against (like some parts of the country) as NYC is a melting pot like no other city." 

    He added: "You are uniquely positioned in a city where there is every industry and influential people all around you. If you're a mover and shaker, the world is your oyster. The resources are here for anyone to be successful if they choose to apply themselves."

    Good luck, ladies. This one's a keeper. 

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