The books in the catalog are tagged with phrases called "subject headings" that describe what each book is about. When you know the correct subject heading for your topic, you can search on that subject heading to find every book that the library has on the topic.
Here are some subject headings to help you find books about African American literature:
African American authors.
African American novelists.
African American poets.
African Americans -- Drama.
African Americans -- Fiction.
African Americans in literature.
African Americans -- Literary collections.
African Americans -- Poetry.
American literature -- African American authors.
American poetry -- African American authors.
Reference books are shelved on the first floor of Simpson Library, to the left of the reference desk.