Supermarket Chains Ignored This Black Community, So Residents Opened A Co-Op

“This home had belonged to a white family,” said Graves, a Black woman who previously lived one county east. “I fell in love with the house, even though I missed Alamance County.” It was the early 1980s, and white residents were leaving the vicinity en masse. Homeowners who couldn’t sell started renting their houses, she said, and within about five years, almost all of the white residents had fled. Graves—who held “a really good management job” at a telephone company—liked her new home. She lived near a branch library and a city rec center, and just one block from a Winn-Dixie grocery store. But the neighborhood started to decline, a trend Graves blames on a lack of public investment and renters who she said didn’t care as much about the community. At the end of 1998, Winn-Dixie announced it would close the store, and other tenants of the shopping center quickly followed.
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