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Introduction to African American Studies Research Guide
About African American Studies:
"African American studies are academic units that focus on the systematic investigation of people of African descent in their contacts with Europeans, their dispersal throughout the diaspora, and the subsequent institutionalization of racism and oppression as means of economic, political, and social subordination. From the outset, these studies had both an academic and a social mission."
(Aldridge, D. (2010). African american studies. In K. Lomotey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of African American education (pp. 24-29). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412971966.n9)
Terminology: African American vs Black
It is important to denote the difference in the use of terminology African American and Black. African American is used to specifically reference descendants of enslaved African people forced to the United States via the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Black is a term that more broadly covers people of African or other Black Diaspora descent, including those that were not descendants of peoples affected by the Transatlantic Slave Trade and from locations outside of the United States. When looking for older materials, please make note that the subject headings may use Negro(es) or Colored people(s).
Oxford African American Studies Center This link opens in a new window
Contains the Encyclopedia of African American History 1619-1895; Encyclopedia of African American History 1896-present; Black Women in America, 2nd ed.; the Africana, 2nd ed.; the African American National Biography Project; Encyclopedia of African American Art and Architecture; the Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature; and selected articles from other reference works.
Access note: Limited to 3 simultaneous users.
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 This link opens in a new window
This resource provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers published by or for African Americans between 1827-1998. This collection features papers from more than 35 states, and was created from the most extensive African American newspaper archives in the United States: Those of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Kansas State Historical Society and the Library of Congress.
Chicago Defender - Historical Edition This link opens in a new window
Provides full page and article images with searchable full text of this historically important African American newspaper from 2010 back to the first issue.
Dates Covered: 1910-2010.
HistoryMakers Digital Archive This link opens in a new window
The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is an extensive online database of over 9,000 hours of full-text and video interviews with African-Americans distinguished in the fields of science, culture, politics, the arts, and public life.
Race Relations in America This link opens in a new window
Sourced from the records of the Race Relations Department of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, this resource provides access to documents highlighting different responses to the challenges of overcoming prejudice, segregation and racial tensions.
Subjects: African & Black Diaspora Studies
, Arabic Studies
, Chinese Studies
, Diversity & Inclusion
, French Studies
, German Studies
, International Studies
, Islamic World Studies
, Italian Studies
, Japanese Studies
, Latin American & Latino Studies
, Modern Languages
, Native American Studies
, Spanish Studies