African American Literature Research



For your research projects on African American history and cultural production in the Pacific Northwestern United States, the library recommends a variety of print and electronic resources.  Not all of these are specific to the Pacific Northwest, so you will need to narrow your focus as you read and research.

It may seem that there is just not enough information available on African Americans in the Pacific Northwest–but that’s where you as a student researcher can make an impact!  These resources will be built over time.  The information you locate and piece together now will help researchers in the future.


Try doing a subject heading search for  African Americans West  (U.S.) .  Students may have to use the table of contents or the index to get to sections that are specific to their area(s).


Access these by using the links below or going to our online reference page at:

For print items, use the call numbers listed to locate the item in the COCC Library.

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History – 2nd ed
Online Access (Gale).

Encyclopedia of African-American Writing  2013
Online Access (Credo)

Encyclopedia of African American Artists 2009
Online access (ABC-CLIO books)

Finkleman, Paul Encyclopedia of African American history, 1896 to the present : from the age of segregation to the twenty-first century
Barber Library Reference (E185 .E5453 2009 )

Trial Resource (available until 4/24):
History Research Center: African American History
Online access for limited time period.  (InfoBase)


Secondary Journal Articles

Artemis Literature Resource Center
Academic One File
Academic Search Premier

Project Muse
US History in Context

Primary Source Articles

The Advocate (Portland)
The New York Times – Historical
Oregon Newspapers – Historical (Full-Text)

Oregon Newspapers – Historical (Index Only)
Seattle Times Historical Archive
(use this to locate citation information–then ask Cat about locating articles).
Washington Newspapers via America’s News
(includes Seattle Times and Seattle Post Intelligencer back to mid 1980’s)
Washington Online Historic Papers

Google News Archives

The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History Do a search for African American.

The Oregon Encyclopedia
A project of the Oregon Historical Society, Again, search  by typing in African American (use the menu to the left to search both the Oregon Encyclopedia and Oregon History Project; may also specify “Themes” such as Arts and Literature), Remembered and Reclaimed:
An Online Reference Center for African American History  Developed by Dr. Quintard Taylor and Associates.

Describing itself as the “Google for African American History”, this prize winning site features a 3000+ entry online encyclopedia, the complete text of nearly 300 speeches by African Americans and other people of African ancestry from 1789 to 2012, more than 140 full text primary documents, and nine major timelines.

African American History in the American West
“This site, created by Professor Quintard Taylor at Washington State University, is a gateway to the vast and growing array of information on the lives and histories of the millions of African Americans who have and continue to make the West their home.”

Northwest African American Museum
May also want to contact (call or email) the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle

National Museum of African American History and Culture







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