Broadway star Robert Hartwell bought his dream home three weeks ago but told his Instagram followers that he had to battle with a real estate agent who he implied was racist.
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.”