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African American Studies

This library guide provides resources for students of African American Studies, or anyone with an interest in the subject.

Welcome to the African American Studies guide!

At Contra Costa College the African American Studies department uses an interdisciplinary curriculum in the areas of Humanities and the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Topics covered in this research guide cover these areas of coursework and include resources that support the department's goal to provide a holistic understanding of the African and African American experience.

Books: Look here for key books in this topic area (including print books on our shelves, and electronic books you can use from home). Try these subject searches:
     - African Americans

     - African Americans History

     - African Americans Race Identity

Articles: We've chosen a few key article databases for your topic area where you might find information in magazines, journals, and newspapers.

Videos: Want to watch something on your topic? Check out our video databases.

Internet Sources: Finding a high quality website through Google can feel frustrating. We have some evaluation tips and ideas of where you might want to start.

Careers: Explore information about careers in African American Studies.

Image of demonstration on the sixty-year anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, shared via Creative Commons from flickr user Joe Brusky

Names Matter - African American | People of Color | Negro

Students who are researching topics in the area of African American Studies might find it challenging, because the names and terms that are used to describe people in the United States whose African ancestors were kidnapped and imported to this country as slaves have changed over time and continue to evolve. For many years, librarians have acknowledged the biased legacy of the systems and tools that we use to facilitate access to the knowledge that our libraries contain, tools such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) which name and identify groups of people for the sake of providing access for searching, or the LCC (Library of Congress Classification) which encodes our books so that related works are shelved next to each other. Some scholars might find the terms and tools used in the Library Catalog to describe topics related to African American Studies problematic or inaccurate, or sometimes even offensive. While your CCC Librarians remain committed to social responsibility along with the rest of our profession, we also possess a legacy where the very tools and systems used to promote knowledge and access to information are inevitably shaped by the biases of the scholars who came before us.