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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

African American Studies: Useful Resources

This guide will introduce African American Studies resources available to Pepperdine University students.


The Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History covers all aspects of the African-American experience from 1619 to the present day. Using biographies, historical essays, and thematic pieces, many written by foremost scholars, it addresses a wide array of subjects in over 2,300 articles to define in one source the cultural roots, participation in American life, and current condition of the African-American community.  The first edition is available in print in the library (Ref. E 185 .E54 1996) and the second edition is available online as part of the Gale Virtual Reference Library.

The African-American Years: Chronologies of American History and Experience discusses the history of African Americans from pre-colonial times to the present. Includes memoirs, letters, family histories, newspapers, oral histories, and city directories, providing historical evidence to help understand and interpret past events.

To locate books and videos, search for the subject African Americans in the library catalog; you can find additional titles under subject headings beginning with African American.

Online Reference Books

Digital Collections on the Web

Below are some of the free digital resources to explore.  There are hundreds more available. To search for open-access digital collections by subject, use OAIster


Useful Books

Library Databases

African American Traditions and the Bible

Oxford Biblical Studies Online consists of Bible texts plus commentary including over 5,000 A-Z entries from Oxford reference works, including the Oxford Companion to the Bible.  'African American traditions and the Bible' by Vincent L. Wimbush is an entry from the Oxford Companion to the Bible. Wimbush discusses African Americans' interactions with the Bible from the time of their arrival in the colonies as slaves through the late twentieth century.

Literary Web Resources on Your Topic