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ENG 246: African American Literature I

Journals & Magazines

Library Databases

Tip: Use search terms: African American literature or search by author name, work title, movement, and/or time period.

Keywords and Themes

Here's some keywords to use in your searches. Remember to use terms that will narrow your search! 

  • Abolition
  • African Diaspora
  • African Methodist Episcopal Church (aka A.M.E or AME)
  • American Civil War
  • American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS)
  • Anna Murray-Douglass
  • Anti-segregation activism 
  • Benjamin Banneker
  • Benjamin Lundy
  • Booker T. Washington
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875 
  • Crispus Attucks
  • David Walker
  • Elizabeth Freeman (aka Bet, Mum Bett, or MumBet)
  • Emancipation Proclamation 
  • Enslaved/ Enslaved people/Enslavement
  • Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
  • Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
  • Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
  • Freedman Bureau
  • Frederick Douglass 
  • Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
  • Harriet Jacobs
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Ida B. Wells
  • Jane Johnson
  • James & Lucretia Mott
  • Jim Crow
  • John C. Bowers
  • Jupiter Hammon
  • Lydia Maria Child
  • Lynching/anti-lynching
  • Mary Shadd Cary
  • Mary Stewart
  • Mary Turner
  • Margaret Murray Washington
  • Middle Passage
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • National Enquirer (1836) (renamed Pennsylvania Freeman)
  • Olaudah Equiano
  • Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage or Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage founded in 1775 (renamed Pennsylvania Abolition Society)
  • Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society
  • Phillis Wheatley
  • Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854)
  • Project 1619
  • Reconstruction /  Reconstruction Era 
  • Robert Purvis
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Southern Horrors
  • The Genius of Universal Emancipation
  • The National Anti-Slavery Standard (1840 to 1870)
  • The Slave Trade Act of 1794
  • The Slave Trade Act of 1800
  • Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
  • Transatlantic slave trade
  • Underground Railroad/ The Underground Rail Road Records
  • W. E. B. Du Bois
  • William Lloyd Garrison
  • William Still

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

What the difference between a primary, secondary, and tertiary source?

  • Primary sources are created as close to the original event or phenomenon as it is possible to be. For example, a photograph or video of an event is a primary source. Data from an experiment is a primary source.
  • Secondary sources are one step removed from that. Secondary sources are based on or about the primary sources. For example, articles and books in which authors interpret data from another research team's experiment or archival footage of an event are usually considered secondary sources.
  • Tertiary sources are one further step removed from that. Tertiary sources summarize or synthesize the research in secondary sources. For example, textbooks and reference books are tertiary sources (Text in this section from Suny Empire College's guide: Research Skills Tutorial).

Why is this important?

  • For your research assignments, you are asked to find primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. You'll need to be able to recognize the difference between all three. Remember primary sources are about the event. Secondary sources analyze the event and interpret another author's work. Tertiary sources summarize events from other authors after the event has occurred. 

External Collections, Databases & Indexes

E-Books & Encyclopedias