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Barbara Mackey sits on the front of her home on Joe Louis Street in Paradise. Mackey's lived in the neighborhood since she was 14 and has owned her current home since the late 1980s. Photo: Jonathan McFadden

Fort Mill’s historic black neighborhood maintains the old, but braces for the new

From her porch in booming Fort Mill, S.C., Barbara Mackey can point out three houses where neighbors who love her live. One takes her to church every Sunday morning. Another trims her hedges and mows her grass. A third chauffeurs her around town whenever she needs to run errands.

“Here, everybody knows everybody,” says Mackey, 77. 

Since she was 14, Mackey’s lived here in Paradise, a historic, predominantly black neighborhood just outside downtown Fort Mill off busy S.C. 160. Comprised of streets named after prominent African Americans, Paradise seems like its own island in this bustling Charlotte suburb.

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