Broadway Star Robert Hartwell Buys House Built By Enslaved People In ‘Generational Move’

Robert Hartwell has found great success on Broadway, starring in such hits as Hello, Dolly! and Motown the Musical. And he’s taking that money from the Great White Way and using it to buy a big white house! And by that, we mean a big house built for whites.

The Broadway Collective founder posted an amazingly inspirational story to Instagram this week about becoming a homeowner.

He 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. I saw the house last week and when I walked in I knew I was home.”

LOVE that he made that seller eat her words!

He went on to describe the history of the home, which was — disturbingly — built by enslaved people for those who enslaved them.

“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.”

A generational move. Amazing!

Robert then spoke seriously about the poor men and women who built the home, and about the massive difference in fortune two centuries later — thanks not just to the times, but to his own hard work and talent.

“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”. We are building our own tables.”

Obviously the scars of slavery in this country are deep. But this is a wondrously healing kind of story. He finished triumphantly:

“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.”

Woo! LOVES it! We have to say, buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do, so for Robert to turn it into such a joyous event? That’s pretty inspirational in its own right!

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