Xavier Prather Makes Television History as the 1st Black Winner of CBS’ Big Brother

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I know, I know!

To those who have been watching CBS’ Big Brother all season and have yet to watch the season finale, I hate to spoil this episode before you watch it, but I got a job to do. So y’all will just have to forgive me on this one.

As I wrote earlier this month, for 22 seasons, CBS’ popular reality television competition show felt a bit too American for its Black contestants and other people of color:

Since Big Brother’s propitious debut back on July 5, 2000, there have been 22 seasons, 22 winners, aaaaaaaaaand almost all of them are white men—with the exception of a few (as in more than two but less than four) speckles of brown or yellow. The rest are white women. Considering this is American television we’re talking about, this shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise but that’s the point: This show is a direct reflection of the discriminatory world that surrounds it.

But this season, with a first-ever mandate in place that ensured that at least half of the cast was comprised of people of color, six beautifully Black-ass souls formed what would eventually become the greatest alliance in Big Brother history: The Cookout. Yes, they bumped heads a few times along the way, but overall they remained focused on protecting each other from their fellow houseguests by keeping their unprecedented coalition a secret. And by doing so, they were able to completely dominate the game in a way that we’ve never seen before and guarantee Big Brother would have its first Black winner ever. Because much like real life, in the rare instances in which the playing field is equally fair and balanced, Black folks will always come out on top.

And after 85 days of competition, Kalamazoo, Mich., native Xavier Prather made television history when he emerged as the winner of Big Brother’s 23rd season and the show’s $750,000 grand prize.

“It’s kind of surreal. I wanted to make a difference,” Prather told Entertainment Weekly. “I wanted this season to be different from past seasons and luckily I had five other like-minded individuals in the house to help me with that goal and we accomplished it. And then I was fortunate enough to be crowned the winner. So it’s incredible.”

He continued, “Being the first Black winner in BBUS history is an honor. And it’s something that the individuals of the Cookout came together to make happen because we felt it was something bigger than this game. Representation is important. And now we want little Black boys and little Black girls to see: Hey, there are ways to be successful. There are ways to make an impact without being an amazing entertainer or being a professional athlete. You can still be successful in other ways. We wanted to show that with this season, and we accomplished that.”

On Twitter, Prather has received plenty of love from not only fellow contestants but fans of the show.

Salute to Black Excellence.


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