A photo of Rachael Kirkconnell in antebellum dress, allegedly at an Old South party, has resurfaced and landed her in hot water. Read on to see the image and find out more about it.

Rachael Kirkconnell won Matt James’ series of The Bachelor last night, but the pair revealed they split shortly after due to a controversy that surfaced. The drama in question involved an old photo of Rachael at an ‘Old South’ party.

During last night’s After The Rose, Matt said: “You hear things that are heartbreaking and you just pray they’re not true.And when you find out that they are it just makes you question everything.”

“If you don’t understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand. It’s as simple as that.”

In response to Rachael saying she was “blindsided” by his call to split up with her and apologizing, Matt said: The most disappointing thing for me was having to explain to you why what I saw was problematic and why I was so upset.”

He then added that the photos would be a problem if they ever had children: “It was in the context of you not fully understanding my blackness and what it means to be a black man in America, and what it would mean for our kids when I saw those things that were floating around the internet.”

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The Rachael Kirkconnell Antebellum photo

The photo in question here is an image of the contestant at an antebellum themed ‘Old South’, now known as ‘Rose Ball’ party in 2018. The event was hosted at Georgia College & State University.

According to The Sun, Rachael’s cousin confirmed that the image is real. The photo sees her along with many other sorority girls in antebellum style dresses. The antebellum era is deeply associate with racism, with it being the time of plantations, slavery and the civil war.

The photo of Rachael Kirkconnell surfaced first on Reddit but was soon shared to Twitter, receiving negative reactions from viewers of the show.

What is an ‘Old South’ party?

An ‘Old South’ party is a widely known event in college life for the fraternity that throws it: Kappa Alpha. Kappa Alpha was founded just after the Civil War in Virginia, and in 1923 it officially claimed Robert E. Lee, a confederate army leader, as its “spiritual founder”.

Reportedly, chapters of the fraternity held Old South celebrations, in which Confederate flags are used and “plantation-style balls” are held. Guests attend the ‘Old South’ parties in antebellum-style clothing.

Kappa Alpha reportedly banned chapters from throwing the ‘Old South’ parties in 2016. One report claims that they now instead host a ‘Rose Ball’, still with an antebellum theme just no longer with confederate soldier costumes.

Antebellum-era celebrations have been widely criticised for the roots in slavery and racism.

Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images

What did Rachael Kirkconnell say?

After the news surfaced online, Rachael posted a statement to her Instagram, addressing and apologizing for them.

The statement was followed by a video sharing anti-racism resourced on her page.

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