The following is reprinted from Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter:
"For quite a number of years, February has been recognized as Black History Month. It is a great time to recognize the abundance of resources available for African American family history research. It is also a good time for all to recall again and appreciate anew the importance of researching ancestors in an ethnic context. Ethnicity was a determining factor in where your ancestors settled, and may have influenced what schools their children attended, what churches they attended, and what newspapers announced their births, weddings, burials, and social activities. I often refer to the ethnicity of ones ancestors as a research "fingerprint" that can guide us to clues and sources. Engaging in African American genealogical research can be particularly challenging. Millions of African Americans can trace their ancestry back to slavery, increasing the importance of exploring property records as well as researching the European-American families associated with the slave families. In recent times, these challenges have been met with a dramatically increasing number of resources.
"A good way to get a handle on the many online resources as well as many thousands of print resources is to engage the African American Gateway compiled by the staff of the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Library. You can select a state, region, or country of interest as well as a number of subject categories. Upon selection, one is presented with two links--one to online resources and one to a bibliography of books, periodical titles, and microfilmed records from the Genealogy Center's vast collection of African American materials."
You can access the portal at: http://www.genealogycenter.info/africanamerican/