Man buys a mansion that was built by his enslaved ancestors: its his way of fighting back against racism -
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Man buys a mansion that was built by his enslaved ancestors: its his way of fighting back against racism

July 27, 2020 • By Cylia Queen

Some houses and buildings hold a certain meaning or value to them. For those who are aware of their value, they become priceless symbols of the past, perhaps moments linked to a particular moment in history or of a person's family lineage. 

For Robert Hartwell, a young gay, African American actor, one house in particular meant a lot to him. A mansion built by slaves, Hartwell bought the house in order to metaphorically "emancipate" his ancestors and, thus, fight against racism and homophobia.  

In a Facebook post that quickly went viral, Robert talked about the house that he just bought. It was an old villa built in 1820 by African American slaves for a rich white family whose surname was Russel. Obviously, in that time period, it was still legal to own slaves, and so many of them were put to work building houses. For those who know anything about buliding houses, it's exhausting and painful work. Imagine what it would've been like for slaves, who had to work in conditions that were completely inhumane. 

That's why, when Robert saw that the house was put up for sale, he knew he had to buy it. It was his ancestors that built that house in bondage; buying would mean that, in some way, he would be able to avenge his ancestors and give the house a second life (and a better one at that). He also pointed out how the seller of the house, who will remained unnamed, doubted that Robert could afford such a place. He proved him wrong, alright! 

"I would've wanted to say to my ancestors, when they were breaking their backs to build this house, that 200 years later a black gay man would buy it and fill it up with love", Robert stated in his post. We couldn't agree with him more, especially in the light of what is occuring in today's political climate (i.e. episodes of violence, racism, discrimination). We wish nothing but the best for Robert! We are sure that his ancestors will now rest in peace knowing that the house they built has found its rightful owner.  


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