Skip to main content
Library Research Resources
- Books that can be checked out are on Laney Library's 2nd entry level floor. Search for books in the library catalog.
- Reference books are on the 2nd floor as well. These books are located directly behind the Reference Desk in the Reference Area.
- Search for journal articles in library databases.
Library Databases & Online Resources
African American Experience A full text, cross-searchable digital reference library containing over 400 reference volumes, 3,500 WPA slave narratives, a timeline, teacher lesson plans, and hundreds of primary documents. Articles, biographies, perspectives, quotations, images, primary documents and more.
Biography in Context Includes magazine and journal articles, primary sources, videos, audio podcasts, and images. Covers a vast array of people from historically significant figures to present-day newsmakers. Person Search option lets you search by gender, ethnicity, occupation, nationality and more!
Credo Reference Credo is especially useful reference resource. It provides background information and brief topical articles. Credo's Topic Pages are an easy way to start your research. Type in a topic or browse for ideas. Credo also has thousands of easily searchable images, maps, and audio files.
Search for Books and eBooks
The Laney College Library has many books and eBooks to help you find the information you need to complete your research project. If you need help during your research process, please see a librarian at the information desk.
Use the search box below to search the library's print & electronic book collection.
Recommended Biographies & Other Nonfiction Books
Assata by On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou. Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides.
Call Number: E185.97.S53 A3 1987
Publication Date: 1999-11-01
They Came Before Columbus by They Came Before Columbus reveals a compelling, dramatic, and superbly detailed documentation of the presence and legacy of Africans in ancient America. Examining navigation and shipbuilding; cultural analogies between Native Americans and Africans; the transportation of plants, animals, and textiles between the continents; and the diaries, journals, and oral accounts of the explorers themselves, Ivan Van Sertima builds a pyramid of evidence to support his claim of an African presence in the New World centuries before Columbus. Combining impressive scholarship with a novelist’s gift for storytelling, Van Sertima re-creates some of the most powerful scenes of human history: the launching of the great ships of Mali in 1310 (two hundred master boats and two hundred supply boats), the sea expedition of the Mandingo king in 1311, and many others. In They Came Before Columbus, we see clearly the unmistakable face and handprint of black Africans in pre-Columbian America, and their overwhelming impact on the civilizations they encountered.
Call Number: E109.A35 V36
Publication Date: 2003-09-23
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by ONE OF TIME'S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY With its first great victory in the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the civil rights movement gained the powerful momentum it needed to sweep forward into its crucial decade, the 1960s. As voices of protest and change rose above the din of history and false promises, one voice sounded more urgently, more passionately, than the rest. Malcolm X--once called the most dangerous man in America--challenged the world to listen and learn the truth as he experienced it. And his enduring message is as relevant today as when he first delivered it. In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement to veteran writer and journalist Alex Haley . In a unique collaboration, Haley worked with Malcolm X for nearly two years, interviewing, listening to, and understanding the most controversial leader of his time. Raised in Lansing, Michigan, Malcolm Little journeyed on a road to fame as astonishing as it was unpredictable. Drifting from childhood poverty to petty crime, Malcolm found himself in jail. It was there that he came into contact with the teachings of a little-known Black Muslim leader renamed Elijah Muhammad. The newly renamed Malcolm X devoted himself body and soul to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the world of Islam, becoming the Nation's foremost spokesman. When his conscience forced him to break with Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity to reach African Americans across the country with an inspiring message of pride, power, and self-determination. The Autobiography of Malcolm X defines American culture and the African American struggle for social and economic equality that has now become a battle for survival. Malcolm's fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America. Praise for The Autobiography of Malcolm X "Malcolm X's autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will."--Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father "Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book."--The New York Times "A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth."--The Nation "The most important book I'll ever read, it changed the way I thought, it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn't know I had inside me. I'm one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better."--Spike Lee "This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle."--I. F. Stone
Call Number: Paperback 1329
Publication Date: 1987-10-12
The New Jim Crow by In a bold and innovative argument, a rising legal star shows readers how the mass incarceration of a disproportionate number of black men amounts to a devastating system of racial control. This is a terrifying reality that exists in the UK as much as in the US. Despite the triumphant dismantling of the Jim Crow laws, the system that once forced African-Americans into a segregated second-class citizenship still haunts and the criminal justice system still unfairly targets black men and deprives an entire segment of the population of their basic rights.
Call Number: HV9950 .A437 2012
Publication Date: 2012-01-16
The Pact by
Call Number: R695 .D38 2003
Publication Date: 2003-05-06
Selected African American Websites
#blacklivesmatter Web Archive
From the Internet Archive, an important collection of indexed events relevant to #blacklivesmatter, with links to online source material and archived web pages
African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
Online exhibit of full text and images from the Library of Congress collections, organized chronologically via chapters on slavery, Antebellum free Blacks, the Civil War and reconstruction, the "Booker T. Washington era," both World Wars, and the civil rights movement.
African American Women in the Sciences & Related Disciplines
Lengthy and substantive research guide provides suggested readings (books, articles, journals) and relevant search techniques for the topic. From the Library of Congress and their Science Reference Services' "Science Tracer Bullets Online" website.
Black Lives Matter
The official website for the Black Lives Matter network
Black Panthers: Digital Collections
Digitized archival collections related to the Black Panthers, from Michigan State University
Color of Change
Wages cyber-activist racial justice campaigns for African Americans.
Joy DeGruy | Be The Healing
Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter. She is an ambassador for healing and a voice for those who’ve struggled in search of the past, and continue to struggle through the present.
Laney College Library || 900 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA 94607 || Phone: (510) 464-3497 || Fax: (510) 464-3264