Broadway actor Robert Hartwell buys home originally built by slaves: ‘Never been prouder to be a black man’

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Broadway actor Robert Hartwell buys home originally built by slaves: ‘Never been prouder to be a black man’

Broadway actor Robert Hartwell purchased a large home that was originally built by slaves and promised to honor his ancestors and “fill it with lov

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Broadway actor Robert Hartwell purchased a large home that was originally built by slaves and promised to honor his ancestors and “fill it with love.”

Hartwell, who has appeared in Broadway productions such as “Hello, Dolly!” and “Motown the Musical,” shared the news that he’s a homeowner on his Instagram Wednesday in a post of himself proudly standing outside the large, stately home with a big smile on his face. In the image’s caption, he detailed not only the home’s grim history but the racism he experienced while trying to buy it.

“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,’” he wrote. “Don’t you ever underestimate a hard working black man.”

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Broadway actor Robert Hartwell announced that he purchased a home that was originally built by slaves in 1820.

Broadway actor Robert Hartwell announced that he purchased a home that was originally built by slaves in 1820.
(D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

He then explained that the house was built in 1820, when slavery was still legal, for the Russell family who owned a nearby cotton mill in town. He said the agent questioned why he wanted such a large home, to which he replied it was “a generational move.”

“I know this house is bigger than me,” the Broadway Collective founder wrote. “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 concluded his celebratory post by noting that he’s “never been prouder to be a black man.”

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“We are building our own tables,” he wrote. “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.”



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