Misee Harris From The Grio – In the eight seasons of ABC’s The Bachelorette, the bachelorettes have always been beautiful. They have always been intelligent. They have always been warm and friendly. They have also always been white. But that is about to change if Misee Harris has her way. The 28-year-old African-American dentist is currently engaging in a social media campaign to be the first African-American bachelorette. Her potential candidacy prompts the question of whether America is ready to enthusiastically watch eligible men of all races compete for a black woman’s heart. I believe that — despite the fact that black women’s beauty and worth is often marginalized by the mainstream media — America is indeed ready. Hopefully ABC and the producers of The Bachelorette will recognize that.

Because, if there were ever a desirable bachelorette, it is Misee Harris, with her mix of beauty, brains and benevolence. The five-foot-6, 125-pound, brown-skinned beauty has dreamed of being a dentist since her early teens and she made that dream a reality by graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. She currently works as a pediatric dentist in her native state of Tennessee. Additionally, Misee Harris is filled with a desire to give back to under-served communities. She does just that by engaging in medical mission trips to the Appalachian mountains to provide children with dental care, mentoring young women in her community and working with autism-related charities.

As a romantic partner, Harris says that she is a loyal confidant who loves sports and is always willing to try new things.

Harris is also a die-hard fan of both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. When she heard of a casting call in Columbus, Ohio in June of last year for The Bachelor, she thought to herself, “I have nothing to lose, why not?” After attending the casting call and various call-backs, she was eventually invited to be one of the competing women on that show. But after much thought, Harris decided not to be the “token black girl” on The Bachelor, and to instead begin her own campaign to be the bachelorette.

“I realized that being the bachelorette would give me a better opportunity to find love and a stronger platform for all of my creative dreams and charity work,” Harris told me in a phone interview. “It also would allow me to inspire other black women and girls to dream big and know their worth.”

Harris immediately started a public figure Facebook fan page, and in the past few months has gained over 16,000 likes. She now receives countless supportive messages from fans of all genders, races, and ages.

When asked why she would like to be the next bachelorette, Harris responded that after spending the last ten years of her life wholly focused on academic and career pursuits, she is ready to dedicate time to her social and romantic ambitions. “I believe that we black women should have it all,” Harris said. “We can be successful and also meet a great guy. I want a man who is willing to be my life partner. A best friend that I can wake up and watch TV and eat cereal with. A guy who is just as ambitious as I am and his dreams will become my dreams just as my dreams become his. Most of all, a man who will be a good father figure to our future kids.”

But will Harris get an opportunity to search for that man on The Bachelorette? In its prior eight seasons, all of the bachelorettes were former contestants on The Bachelor. The show’s producers chose former contestants that did not win, but who were loved by fans of the show. That is one impediment. The producers of the show are well aware of her campaign, but it is unknown whether they are interested in selecting her.

Another hurdle would be the racial precedent. The producers have never cast a black person as the central bachelor or bachelorette, and this decision has not gone unnoticed. In April 2012 two black men, Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, filed a racial discrimination suit against the show and its producers, stating that they and other people of color who have auditioned were not given an equal opportunity during the casting process. The show producers vehemently defended themselves and released a statement.

 

(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    I think the ratings would go down significantly if there were a black bachelor(ette). I would love to be wrong, but I doubt it. Put this lady on and let’s see!

    I also think many black viewers would have a hissy fit if said black bachelor(ette) didn’t pick a black partner at the end.

  • Skye

    Please don’t do it! Let them have the show

  • Carrie Leilam Love

    I agree! The bachelor/bachelorette are degrading shows for people of any race.

  • VXR

    I can’t believe this show is still on the air.

  • Ayana Patricia

    “It also would allow me to inspire other black women and girls to dream big and know their worth.”

    Really though. Being the Bacholorette is what she thinks is needed to inspire other black women and girls and know there worth! I don’t think so.

    The fact that she has done so well academically and gives so much back to the community is in my opinion inspiring. Going on a TV dating show not so much.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    I totally agree, Skye. That show is all kinds of stupid and disgusting. White people can have it. Plus, getting on the Bachelorette is not some civil rights issue. Lol. It’s just a stupid TV show that no one talks about anymore.

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Lillian Mae

    They already had a black Bachelorette reality TV series…am I the only one who remembers I Love New York?

  • r

    It would be interesting. Especially the reaction when she picks a white bachelor.

  • MCasey13

    I would like to see it but it’s not going to happen. I don’t think abc will choose a black bachelor or bachelorette anytime soon if ever. They only recently had 3 or 4 black women on the current season of the bachelor. I think their reasoning would be that they would lose ratings and they also probably think it would end up being like Flavor of Love or I Love New York. They love using people who were rejected on the previous season too.  

  • Skye

    Right this is not an important event and it is a trashy show. I wish BET would get the freaking hint and make an ALL black cast dating show with professionals (no Flav) bachelors and bachelorettes.

  • MCasey13

    I would like to see it but it’s not going to happen. I don’t think ABC will choose a black bachelor/ette anytime soon if ever. They only recently had 3 or 4 black women on the current season of the bachelor (they usually had none or just 1). I think their reasoning would be that they would lose ratings and they probably think it would end up being like Flavor of Love or I Love New York. They love using people who were rejected on the previous season too.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Agreed! This as I mention on the reality show post for the black doctors post, I don’t know where this surge is coming from that if you aren’t on TV or have cameras shoved in your face that you must not be a respected person and a success in your community. Personally, I still wouldn’t tune in. This show is just not my cup of tea regardless of the leading bachelor or bachelorette. This show is just the prettied up version of Flavor or Love or (insert any other VH1 dating show in here), so I don’t see why people, established people, are breaking their neck to be on it.

  • Bren

    I think she has a chance. She’s smart, she’s beautiful and she’s successful, portraying positive images of black women which are long overdue with all of the un-reality tv and videheauxs out here. Good luck Missy.

  • GlowBelle

    Nope. America showed that they can’t even deal with cute, innocent little Black girls like Quvenzhane Wallis, so to see a Black woman in control of her sexuality who is looking to get married esp. when we’ve been constantly told that we will never get married and die lonely and unloved…I hate to be ‘that’ person but America proves time after time that, sadly, they aren’t ready for something like this, not even a change in a silly reality show.

    I wish her the best, and wish that Black women were more celebrated for their successes and beauty (…just not on a show like the ‘Bachelorette’ — c’mon we can ALL strive for better), but I have to put my realities into account.

  • Closed Doors

    I don’t know about sisters but the truth is America (white men and women) love to see brothers banging white girls behind closed doors when no one is looking. The number 1 sex tape is Kim K and RayJ. They just don’t want to see brothers dry humping their little princesses on mainstream TV

  • Tara

    I think that she is pretty and she would be a good role model.

  • Tara

    Not necessarily. Look at the ratings for Scandal.

  • cb

    Doesn’t TVOne have a dating reality show?

  • MISS_EMCEE

    This house nigger smh. Trying to get accepted by a white audience. Typical brainwashed coon heffa. “It also would allow me to inspire other black women and girls to dream big and know their worth.” Means your worth is determined by white men in the media.

  • Whitney

    Hmmmm a black woman kissing and maybe sexting 20 different men. Jezebel stereotype in 5…4..3..2..

  • K. Michel

    “I believe that we black women should have it all,” Harris said. “We can be successful and also meet a great guy. I want a man who is willing to be my life partner. A best friend that I can wake up and watch TV and eat cereal with. A guy who is just as ambitious as I am and his dreams will become my dreams just as my dreams become his. Most of all, a man who will be a good father figure to our future kids.” (Misee Harris)

    I’m not trying to live this way when I’m 28. It must be that country life…

    Good luck, Misee.

  • Marisa

    Lets be real America is not ready for any black woman on reality tv unless she is acting a plum fool, then turn around and thumb their noses at black women as a whole. The big question is why a woman this accomplished would bother entertaining a show like this, unless its just to be on tv and maybe a acting career. Nobody who goes on a dating show is actually looking for a relationship not buying. Miss Harris should use her efforts to a more noteworthy cause, because tonguing and groping down 20 plus contestants on tv is not a real way to find a decent man to father your childen.

  • Tara

    The last Bachelorette was a dentist and she actually got married.

  • Diane

    If she did not release a racial statement I don’t think I would have noticed she was black. But to say “all black women”… now I am turned off. I don’t go around telling everyone I am white. I deserve where I am at because I am a human being. I will not watch the show now.

  • http://www.poshmiss.com Posh Miss

    With Scandal, I say we are ready. Cant wait for this to happen!

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