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The 20 Most Well-Read Cities for African-Americans

Where in the U.S. can you find the most well-read African Americans?  Look no further.

We reviewed our website’s traffic and ranked, on a per capita basis, the number of visitors from cities with more than 200,000 residents.

Community Book Center, New Orleans, LA
Community Book Center, New Orleans, LA

Durham, North Carolina, home of North Carolina Central and Duke Universities, tops the list.   The state of North Carolina shares the honor of having the most cities in the top 20 (three), with New York State.  New York State had the highest number of visitors, but North Carolina easily beat New York on a per capita basis.

This article was prompted by a similar article found on Time Inc’s website, The 20 ‘Most Well-Read Cities’ in America, According to

#1 – Durham, North Carolina

#2 – Manhattan, New York
#3 – Atlanta, Georgia
#4 – Washington, District Of Columbia
#5 – Miami, Florida (3rd on Amazon’s List)
#6 – Saint Louis, Missouri (11th on Amazon’s List)
#7 – Cleveland, Ohio
#8 – Baltimore, Maryland
#9 – New Orleans, Louisiana
#10 – Raleigh, North Carolina
#11 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
#12 – Memphis, Tennessee
#13 – Charlotte, North Carolina
#14 – Bronx, New York
#15 – Detroit, Michigan
#16 – Brooklyn, New York
#17 – Chicago, Illinois
#18 – Jacksonville, Florida
#19 – Houston, Texas
#20 – Dallas, Texas


New York City’s five boroughs were treated separately because of their large populations; Manhattan (1,619,090), The Bronx (1,408,473), Brooklyn (2,565,635).  If New York City was treated as a single city (combining Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx) New York City would be in the top 20 but Los Angeles, California and Columbus, Ohio would then be added to the list at #19 and #20 respectively.

The total number of cities captured in the sample was over 500 globally.  There were two non-American cities which made the top 20 (Ottawa, Ontario and  London, England), but  they were excluded because only American cities were considered for this list.

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Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.