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African American Life

Tips for Searching in This Topic

Search Tip #1

A search term can be used in combination with another search term to improve the relevance of your search results in databases, the Library's Discover and Catalog searches, and even in Google and other search engines.

To find materials about Americans of African descent in history and politics, start with the search term "African Americans" then add a second or even third search term.


  • "African Americans" AND "Vietnam War"
  • "African Americans" AND segregation AND schools
  • "Black Lives Matter" AND "police reform"

Search Tip #2

Try searching "African Americans" as a subject instead of a keyword to limit results to materials that are about African Americans. A keyword search only means that your searched term appears somewhere in the text of the books and articles in your results.

To broaden your results to materials that are likely to cover other demographics, a search term like ethnicity, "ethnic groups," "racial differences," or minorities may be effective.

Search Tip #3

As an example, here are just a few of the subject terms we noted when retrieving the books listed on this page:

African Americans -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- History African Americans -- Civil rights -- History
African Americans -- Race identity -- History -- 20th century Harlem Renaissance
African American intellectuals -- History -- 20th century Black power -- United States
African Americans -- Politics and government African Americans -- Migrations
Discrimination in housing -- Government policy Protest movements -- United States
Racism in criminology -- United States Segregation
Criminal justice, Administration of -- United States African American prisoners -- United States
Discrimination in criminal justice administration -- United States Civil rights workers -- United States

Can't find it? Contact ILL!

Books and articles not found in UTD Library collections can be requested at no charge through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Delivery time: Books/Media: 5-10 business days; Article/Chapter PDF: 1-2 days.