African American History Resources - LPC Library Research Guide

Pease ask a reference librarian for assistance at any time. We will be glad to help!


Reference Sources

Use reference sources for background information, broad overviews and summaries. The reference collection includes general and subject dictionaries and encyclopedias, biographies, directories, almanacs, atlases, etc. Many also contain bibliographies for further research. Reference books cannot be checked out from the library but may be photocopied.

  • Affirmative Action: An Encyclopedia      Ref HF5549.5.A34.A426 2004
  • African American Almanac      Ref E185.A37 2000
  • African American Desk Reference      Ref E185.A2528 1999
  • African American Frontiers [also in stacks]      Ref E444.G68 2000
  • Africana: The Encyclopedia of African and African American Experience      Ref DT14.A37435 2005
  • African-American Atlas: Black History & Culture - An Illustrated Reference           Ref E185.A79 1998
  • Almanac of African American Heritage      Ref E185.A448 2001
  • Civil Rights [also in stacks]      Ref JC599.U5.C5618 2004
  • Civil rights in America: 1500 to the Present      Ref JC599.U5 S53 1998
  • Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance      Ref NX512.3.A35.E53 2004
  • Great African-American Women      Ref E185.96.L95 2000
  • Harlem Renaissance      Ref PS153.N5.H245 2003
  • World Book Encyclopedia      Ref AE5.W55 2005

Books & Audiovisuals

Use the library catalog to find materials in the library. This will show you all the books and audiovisual materials both LPC Library and Chabot library own. You can search for a book or video by the author, title, subject, or keyword. A subject search allows you to find books about a topic or a person. In power search you may also LIMIT your search in many ways, for instance by type, "DVD" or type, "video" to find only DVDs or videos.

Examples of subject headings:

  • Affirmative action programs - United States
  • African Americans - History - Miscellanea
  • Afro-Americans
  • Afro-Americans - Civil Rights
  • Afro-Americans - History
  • Afro-Americans Biography Harriet Tubman
  • Minorities - Civil rights - United States

Examples of topics:

  • Abolition
  • Civil disobedience
  • Civil War
  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • Jim Crow Laws
  • Ku Klux Klan
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Prejudice
  • Racism
  • Segregation
  • Sit-in
  • Slavery
  • Underground Railroad

TIP: For a timeline of African American history see the African American History: Timeline Home Page at

Selected Book Titles at LPC

African American Foodways: Explorations of History & Culture. TX715.A2428 2007

American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm.      E185.63.B93 2001
Autobiography of a People: Three Centuries of African American History Told by Those Who Lived It.      E185.A97 2000
The Black Church in the Post-Civil Rights Era.      BR563.N4.P49 2002
The Black Soldier: 1492 to the Present.      E185.63.C57 2000
Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era.      E540.N3.B63 2002
Cathy Williams: From Slave to Female Buffalo Soldier.      E185.97.W694 T83 2002
Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists.      N6538.N5.F27 2005
Harlem's Hell Fighter: The African-American 369th Infantry in World War I.      D570.33 369TH.H37 2003
"I Will wear no chain!": A Social History of African-American Males.      E185.86.B635 2000
Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present.      TR23.W55 2000
Temples for Tomorrow: Looking Back at the Harlem Renaissance.      PS153.N5.T45 2001

Selected DVD Titles at LPC

In Remembrance of Martin.      DVD E185.97.K5.I5 2005
Slavery and the Making of America. Vol. 2-4.      DVD E441.S53 2004
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.      DVD GV1196.J64.U54 2005

Selected Video Titles at LPC

Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance.      MV 21437
History of the Negro Soldier.      MV 22133
Jazz.      MV 23222
Tryin' to Get Home: A History of African American Song.      MV 23384
A Vital Progressivism.      MV 23293

Periodicals & Electronic Print Resources

Periodicals provide in-depth analyses of events and trends, research studies on particular subjects, and professional literature. Las Positas College subscribes to several excellent journals as well as some popular magazines that may report on research that is of interest to you. Use the LPC Library Catalog to find the appropriate magazines available in the Library.

  • Suggestion: Use Power Search. For example: African American as "word or phrase." Limit your search in the drop down list for "Library" to Las Positas College and in "Type" to Periodical.

In addition, you may want to find articles by using an electronic print resource. These databases can be accessed in the LPC Library or from home at the LPC Library Homepage. Best choices for African American History:

History Reference Center (EBSCOhost) - contains thousands of citations and full-text articles on history. The database features cover-to-cover full text for more than 650 historical encyclopedias and other non-fiction books. The database also includes full text for more than 50 leading history periodicals.

  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for "African American History" or type in one of the topics from "Examples of topics"above.

Ethnic NewsWatch - contains thousands of citations and full-text articles of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press.

  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for "African American History" or type in one of the topics from Examples of topics

Internet Resources

You may want to explore some Internet resources to supplement or enhance your research. Always be cautious of information you find on the Web since the quality of sources varies tremendously on the Internet. It is always a good idea to check the information against another source. As with all information resources, whether in print or on the Internet, you evaluate its quality based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy:      Is it free from mistakes and errors?
  • Authority:      What are the qualifications of the author?
  • Objectivity:      Is there any strong bias?
  • Currency:      Is the information up-to-date?
  • Coverage:      To what extent is the topic explored?

Use the Librarians' Internet Index (

  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for "African American History" or other pertinent terms. Once you find a good site listed, try the subject headings listed below the annotated citation for more information.

Citation of Sources

Keep printouts of your sources, or write out all pertinent information on author, title, publisher, date, or Internet address to identify where you got the information. Follow the format recommended by your instructor or ask a librarian to show you a "style manual." You also may use the MLA & APA Citation Style Guides at, as well as the online resource, NoodbleBib, a bibliography composer, (or from the LPC Library Homepage and the Citation Style Guides link) for online help. Please ask a reference librarian for help!

Tina Inzerilla, LPC Librarian

Email a Librarian

Library Telephone: 925.424.1150
Library Fax: 925.606.7249

Page last modified: March 12, 2015