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AFAM 100N: Black Freedom Struggles

a guide to resources helpful for completing assignments for AF AM 100

Identify and Develop Your Topic

Look at your syllabus for topic ideas.

Discuss your topic ideas with your instructor or librarian.

Broad Topic

Example: Civil Rights

This topic can be narrowed to:

  • an individual 
  • civil rights organization(s)
  • a population (African Americans, Asian Americans, Women, etc.)
  • a location/geography (United States, Pennsylvania, the southern U.S., etc.)

Narrow Topic


  • Malcolm X and PanAfricanism
  • ‚ÄčAfrican American civil rights activists in Pennsylvania
  • Civil rights organizations in New York.

Identify Keywords, Synonyms, and Related Words

Topic: Malcolm X and PanAfricanism

Some keywords, synonyms, and related terms to use when researching this topic:

  • Malcolm X
  • PanAfricanism
  • Malcolm Little [Malcolm X's given name]
  • El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz [Malcolm X's Nation of Islam name]
  • Black Power [term related to PanAfricanism]

Combine Keywords

Combine keywords, synonyms, and related terms with Boolean terms AND or OR when searching for books, encyclopedias, and other reference works in The CAT or LionSearch—or when searching for articles in databases.


  • Malcolm X AND PanAfricanism
  • Malcolm X OR Malcolm Little OR El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz AND PanAfricanism
  • Malcolm X AND Black power