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African American Literature

A guide to library resources about African American Literature

Scope of this Guide

This guide covers search strategies for African American Literature specifically. It will help you identify relevant databases and subject terms within that area.

If you'd like more tips on literature research in general, please see:

Library Status

During the Summer 2021 semester, the library building is not open. You can still use the library's electronic resources and contact librarians for help. See below for a way to request book chapters and print books from the library.

Here are some links you may find helpful:

Searching for Articles

Your search for articles may include both literary criticism and historical analysis. Because they can be found in different databases, they are addressed separately below.

Literature & Humanities Databases

The literature-specific databases are a good place to start.  They focus on analyzing literary works and you are likely to find yourself in conversation with them.

Even if you need historical documents or analysis, it's a good idea to start with the literary criticism, because you will often find such sources cited there.  

History and African American Studies Databases

Some Specific Journals

I generally recommend searching databases for articles, as specific journals are usually quite narrow in scope. However, it can be useful to browse through a journal to see what sorts of articles they include. 

Here are some journals that are strong in African American literature. 

Also see the American Literature E-Journals list.