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Black American Studies: Background Information

Reference Databases

Reference or Tertiary Sources are a great place to start your research, but it's important to know what kind of information a reference source offers. Print or online encyclopedias may give you a broad overview of your topic and will help you identify search terms. This type of reference source will help you begin your research, but it should not be the foundation for a history research paper. We recommend starting with these two database sources: Source Reference (formerly Credo)  is a great start for finding background information and U.S. History in Context and American History Online both have topic pages you can browse when looking for a topic. 

African-American History

Background Information and Primary Sources

American History Online

On the home page, choose "Browse" for Topic Centers

African American Perspectives

Choose Topic: African American Perspectives 

Issues and Controversies

Search or choose from American History Eras on the right