April 15, 2024

Broadway star Robert Hartwell buys historic 1820 house built by slaves

Broadway star Robert Hartwell has purchased a historic home built by slaves that he intends to “fill with love.” 

The actor turned entrepreneur shared the exciting news with his followers on Instagram, noting that he bought the house after stumbling upon it while perusing the Internet. 

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,” he captioned a photo on Instagram of himself standing in front of his new property. He did not disclose the location of the home. 

READ MORE: Michelle Obama reflects on Juneteenth and family’s slavery history

“I saw the house last week and when I walked in I knew I was home,” Hartwell added. 

Hartwell, founder of The Broadway Collective, noted that the home was built by slaves in 1820 for the Russell family, who owned the local cotton mills, per PEOPLE.

“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,” wrote Hartwell in his IG post.

“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,’” he wrote.

“We are building our own tables,” he continued. “I’ve never been prouder to be a black man.”

After receiving an outpouring of love from fans, friends and colleagues, Hartwell promised to share the renovations process on social media.

“So overwhelmed with gratitude… Can’t wait to share more,” he wrote on his Instagram Story.

Hartwell, who appeared in productions such as Hello, Dolly! and Motown the Musical, said he purchased the house as a way to pay tribute to his ancestors.

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