African American Music Reference * contains essays and liner notes related to blues, jazz, spirituals, civil rights songs, slave songs, minstrelsy, rhythm and blues, gospel, and other forms of black American musical expression. Includes books like the following selections (and many more):
Music Periodicals Database * indexes and provides full text access to thousands of different music-focused journals and magazines. Materials covered in this resource focus a bit more on popular music and performance, rather than art music.
Oxford Bibliographies Online: African American Music * this link takes you to a pre-made search in this resource that pulls about 50 different bibliographies related to African American music. These bibliographic essays are excellent entry points into a new concept because they provide basic factual information, as well as point you to many other excellent resources on the topic.
Jazz Music Library * lets you listen to over 10,000 different streaming albums that spans many major and minor figures, like Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, and Billie Holiday, along with many different genres, like swing, hard-bop, soul jazz, etc. Also included with many (but not all) albums are extensive liner notes that can be excellent sources of information about that particular recording and where it fits into music history and culture; look for the "related documents" tab once you've opened an album to play.
American Music * lets you listen to almost 8,000 different streaming albums that span many different popular music genres throughout American music history. You can find music from genres like blues, gospel, and R&B. Like the previous resource, look for the "related documents" tab to find liner notes for more information about that album.
Oxford African American Studies Center * is an excellent resource to find factual information. This can be extremely helpful to better understand a person, genre, or movement, so that you can begin to see how their relationship to other matters and so that you can analyze them on a deeper level and make connections. Some items of particular interest might be the timelines and "Focus On" essays. A few examples are:
Black Studies in Video * is a great resource to watch almost 1,000 streaming videos--generally documentaries--that focus on African American history and the African American experience.