by Danielle C. Belton, “The Root”

America isn’t an easy country.

If you fall down, you’ll mostly get a lot of people trying not to make eye contact with you as you panhandle on the street. The fall can be even harsher if you’re African American—when your time on the street probably came with a stint in prison. But it’s not all doom and gloom for every black person in America. In fact, quite a few of us are doing pretty awesome despite a little problem like “institutionalized racism.” Why are many African Americans doing better? It could come down to one word.

Location. Location. Location.

We took a look at the worst states for black people, so by popular demand, I put on my research hat again to find the best states for black people. While some may be shocked to learn of any stateside safe haven, there are some—as long as you like either living in the extremes or elbowing your way through black college grads as they sip mimosas at white parties in the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area.

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