Broadway star Robert Hartwell bought his dream home three weeks ago — a plantation-style home that was built by slaves in the 18000s.
Hartwell, who has starred in “Memphis: The Musical”, “Cinderella” and the Tony-award winning revival of “Hello, Dolly!” detailed his journey of buying the house, which was built in the early 1800s by slaves.
Under a picture of him grinning outside a two-hundred-year-old colonial house, Hartwell wrote: “3 weeks ago I found this house online. I said ‘this is my house’. I called the seller and was told it was a cash-only offer and that ‘I’m sure that takes you off the table’. Don’t you ever underestimate a hard-working black man.”
Hartwell pursued his house, despite the seller’s attempt to put him off.
“I saw the house last week and when I walked in I knew I was home. The house was built in 1820 for the Russell family who owned the cotton mill in town. Slavery was still legal. When the agent asked me why I wanted such a large house I said it was ‘a generational move’. I know this house is bigger than me. I wish I could’ve told my ancestors when they were breaking their backs in 1820 to build this house that 200 years later a free gay black man was going to own it and fill it with love and find a way to say their name even when 200 years later they still thought I would be ‘off the table’.”
Hartwell ended his June 24 post on an upbeat note,
“We are building our own tables. I’ve never been prouder to be a black man. Come to my White House any time. I can’t wait to have you! Glory to God in the highest. I’m a homeowner.”
We’re not sure we’d feel comfortable living in a home that’s seen such horrors — with the spirits of the enslaved ancestors roaming the halls — but if he’s happy, that’s all that matters.
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Broadway star Robert Hartwell is a proud homeowner with a beautiful story of how his purchase came to be. ??? Robert, who appeared in productions such as Hello, Dolly! and Motown the Musical, announced that he bought the house that was built by enslaved people as a way to reclaim it. “I wish I could’ve told my ancestors when they were breaking their backs in 1820 to build this house that 200 years later a free gay black man was going to own it and fill it with love and find a way to say their name,” he wrote. “I’ve never been prouder to be a black man.” ?? | #Regram @sirroberttakespics #blacklivesmatter #blackboyjoy