Matt James isn’t ready to give up on his relationship with Rachael Kirkconnell
The first Black “Bachelor” and the woman he chose to receive the final rose had a very public breakup after photos of her at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018 surfaced and made the rounds on social media.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal Magazine, James said they are trying to make things work.
“I think the best way to put it is that we can have critical conversations about being in this relationship and what I need in a partner — especially if that woman isn’t Black — to understand what comes with me and my life and being Black,” he said. “It’s on people who care about being allies to do the work to be truly antiracist. And I think it’s unfair to leave people without the ability to unlearn and be better.”
Kirkconnell, who is White, confirmed in an email to the publication that they were indeed back together.
James had announced the split during the “After the Rose” ceremony in March.
“When I questioned our relationship, it was in the context of you not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America,” James told Kirkconnell during the ceremony. “It broke my heart, because this is the last conversation I thought we’d be having. I didn’t sign up to have this conversation.”
Kirkconnell apologized to James in person and on social media when the controversy first hit.
“I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one’s responsibility to educate me,” she said in a video on her verified Instagram account.
“Bachelor” franchise host Chris Harrison was sidelined after he defended Kirkconnell.