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African American Newspapers (Warren: AAS261)

Finding and Researching African American Newspapers for AAS261

This guide is for Nagueyalti Warren's AAS261.

Biographical Databases

Try reference databases like Credo Reference Unlimited and Oxford African American Studies Center to help you select a newspaper.

Try searching!

Recommended Searches

For basic information on newspapers and to find title lists, search for the following keywords: 

  • Early black newspaper
  • African American newspaper

Once you select a newspaper try searching by: 

  • Newspaper Title (Amsterdam News, Chicago Defender, other major African American Newspaper)
  • Editor or Publisher

Credo Reference Unlimited

Credo Ready-Reference services feature full-text, aggregated content from hundreds of reference books covering every major subject. 

Reference Universe

Another useful reference database.

Oxford African American Studies Center

Core texts includes: Africana, The Encyclopedia of African American History; Black Women in America, and The African American National Biography. In addition, the site includes over 300 carefully edited primary source documents with commentaries, approximately 2,300 images and over 300 charts, tables, graphs, maps, and timelines. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., editor-in-chief. **If you have problems logging into OAASC, try using Oxford Reference Online. It contains many of the same core encyclopedias on African American History.

African American Biographical Database

AABD includes profiles and full-text sketches providing both biographical detail and narratives chronicling the lives of Black Americans. The majority of the content comes from Black Biographical Dictionaries 1790-1950.

Recommended Searches:

  • Editor or Publisher
  • Journalist

American National Biography

Successor to the renowned Dictionary of American Biography, the ANB is a premier source of biographical information on over 18,000 people from all eras who have influenced and shaped American history and culture.


Digitized African American Newspapers

African-American newspapers, 1827-1998 

This database contains about 270 U.S newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. For a list of 19th century titles, click here, for 20th century titles, click here.

Accessible Archives, African American Newspapers

Database of nineteenth century African American Newspapers. Includes a handful of titles not available in the above African American Newspapers: The Christian Recorder (1861–1902) The National Era (1847–1860) Provincial Freeman (1854–1857) 

Library of Congress, Digitized Black Newspaper Collection

52 digitized African American Newspapers from Washington D.C., Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina and elsewhere.

Proquest Newspapers Collection

This collection includes many major African American Newspapers including the Atlanta Daily World, Baltimore Afro-American, Chicago Defender, Cleveland Call and Post, Daily Defender, Los Angeles, New York Amsterdam News, Norfolk New Journal, Philadelphia Tribune, and the Pittsburgh Courier. 


Will you be searching within the newspaper databases above? If yes, try these search tips:

Limit by date range

Try combinations of search terms.

Do multiple searches in order to get the results you are looking for.

Use specific search terms.

Remember to match your search terms to time period or issue being discussed (i.e. searching  the term "African-American" in 1920s newspaper  will get you nowhere)

Bibliographies and Indexes

James P. Danky. African American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998.


Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. Harvard Guide to African American History. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2001. Danky has an essay entitled, "Newspapers and Selected Periodicals" in section one, part 6 of the guide.


Barbara K Henritze. Bibliographic Checklist of African American Newspapers / Barbara K. Henritze. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical PubCo, 1995.


Bell & Howell Co. Newspaper Indexing Center, and Black Newspaper Indexing Project. “Index to Black Newspapers.” Indexing Center, UMI, 1977.


Charles A. Simmons. The African American Press: a History of News Coverage During National Crises, with Special Reference to Four Black Newspapers, 1827-1965 / Charles A. Simmons. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co, 1998.


Henry G La Brie. The Black Newspaper in America; a Guide / by Henry G. La Brie III. Iowa City: Institute for Communication Studies, University of Iowa, 1970.


———. The Black Press in America; a Guide / by Henry G. La Brie III. 2d ed. Coralville, Iowa: Mercer House Press, 1972.


Lincoln University (Jefferson City, Mo ) School of Journalism. Negro Newspapers in the United States, 1966. Jefferson City, Mo, 1966.


Steven C Newsome. The Afro-American Newspaper: an Inventory / Steven C. Newsome. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Library, 1976.


Timothy N Pinnick. Finding and Using African American Newspapers / Timothy N. Pinnick. Wyandotte, OK: printed from author-submitted camera-ready copy by The Gregarth Publishing Co, 2008.


Vishnu Vitthal Oak. The Negro Newspaper / by Vishnu V. Oak. Westport, Conn: Negro Universities Press, 1970.


Warren Henry Brown. Check List of Negro Newspapers in the United States (1827-1946) / by Warren Brown. Jefferson City, Mo: School of Journalism, Lincoln Univ, 1946.


MLA Citations

The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue University offers a helpful online workshop on the MLA style, including some sample bibliographic citations.

OWL's MLA Formatting and Style Guide

You may also wish to consult the print MLA Guide. You can get it at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor of the Woodruff Library: 

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (2009)

Woodruff Library Reference

Call number: LB2369 .G53 2009

And you might want to try using a Citiation Manager. Emory subscribes to an enhanced version of EasyBib, among others.

Who do I contact for help at the library and at MARBL?

Erica Bruchko, Librarian for African American Studies, Robert W. Woodruff Library


Scholarship on African American Newspapers

Try searching for your newspaper title or editor in these full-text databases and indexes

*Articles that you find in GoogleScholar might not be availale on the spot in full text. If you find something that you can't access, search for the title of the journal in discoverE to see if the library subscribes to it in print or electronic form.

Scholarly Monographs

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