Robert Hartwell Featured in Pharrell Williams’ ‘Entrepreneur’

Pharrell Williams‘ new video, “Entrepreneur,” (ft. East Hampton’s Jay-Z), features East Hampton’s Robert Hartwell in a significant role.

Hartwell, who grew up in East Hampton and is now a Broadway actor, recently made headlines when he purchased a house in Massachusetts that was built in the 1800s by slaves. The house was being sold for $400,000, cash only, and the seller reportedly assumed Hartwell would not be able to afford it.


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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. 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”. 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.

A post shared by robert hartwell (@sirroberttakespics) on

“Entrepreneur” showcases Black people who have helped their communities, made a difference, built business empires and more. Williams released the video just after midnight on August 21 on Twitter with the message, “ Thank you to Jay (@S_C_), and to every Black queen, king and entrepreneur who made this all happen! This is for you…and your Black vision of the future. Special thank you to the director @CALMATIC for creating such a beautiful video.”

Watch the video above.

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