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UMass Amherst Libraries

Afro American Studies

A general guide to library research in Afro American Studies.

Researching the Civil Rights Movement

Library Guide for Afro Am 236:





Spotlight on Music Online: American Song

Music Online: American Song is a database that allows people to hear and feel the music from America's past. The database includes songs of the Civil Rights Movement. Go to section of database on "Historical Events."

Music, such as:

Liner notes here


Speeches (some include music), such as:

Secondary Sources

  • Academic Search Premier A multidisciplinary database with many literature, linguistics and anthropology journals. 
  • America: History and Life Citations and abstracts for journal articles, dissertations, and book reviews relating to United States and Canadian history. 
  • Arts and Humanities Citation Index In ISI Web of Science, an index to scholarly journals which can be searched by topic, author, source, address or by cited reference. Good resource for academic book reviews.
  • Biography Resource Center Brief biographies from a variety of reference sources.
  • Black Studies Center combines several resources for research and teaching in Black Studies: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP), The Chicago Defender, and the Black Literature Index
  • Communication and Mass Media Complete Communication scholarly journals and trade journals, plus articles on communication topics from related disciplines
  • JSTOR Full-text articles from scholarly journals from many disciplines. From the earliest issue of each journal to between two and five years prior to the present. Therefore, does NOT contain very recent scholarship. 
  • Web of Science Allows multidisciplinary searches combining arts, humanities, social science and science. Good for seeing who cited whom. Good for academic book reviews. 

Spotlight on Black Panther Party newspaper

From the database Black Thought and Culture

Primary Sources



Newspapers and Magazines

Black newspapers and magazines

Other newspapers and magazines


Spotlight on Historical Pittsburgh Courier

Citation Management

Use a citation manager, such as Zotero to keep track of your research.

Put all your references in one place, create quick and easy bibliographies, build your knowledgebase for the rest of your career. For help, check out the online guides and webinars or Ask a Librarian. 

Tips for Databases

  1. From off-campus locations, an IT Computer Account is required to access licensed databases.
  2. After you've run a search, use the button (if the database has it) to retrieve articles or to be taken directly to Interlibrary Loan, so you can order the article if UMass does not have it.