"Peer reviewed" means that an article has been reviewed by other scholars in the field -- the author's "peers" -- before being approved for publication. It is meant to ensure the integrity of the scholarship.
Not everything that is published in a journal is peer-reviewed. Book reviews and editorials are typically not peer-reviewed. Magazine articles and newspaper articles also are not peer-reviewed. (There may be cases where these kinds of publications are still relevant to your research! Ask your professor if you are unsure).
Most article databases have an Advanced Search option that will let you limit your search to peer-reviewed articles.
Many databases give you only a citation telling you where to find the article, not the article itself.
There's often a shortcut to the full article text in another database -- this button:
Click the Find It @GSU button to open a window with links to the article you need.
If the article is not available, you will see an option to request the article from another library using the Interlibrary Loan service (it's free!). Follow the prompts to place an ILL request for the article.
Lost? Stuck? Too many options? Ask a Librarian for help!
To limit your searches to topics focusing specifically on African-Americans, African-American culture, etc., use a database's Advanced Search option. Use the search boxes for keywords/search terms based on your topic. In one of the boxes, include a search (called a "search string") like this one:
african-american* OR black* OR negr*
A search string like this one covers all of those bases. The OR between terms means that you are searching for results including EITHER of the terms in that list. If you used AND instead of OR in that search string, you would only turn up results that used ALL THREE of those terms, which will be a much smaller results list).
If you wanted to limit your results to "women" (or "men" or "children" or "nurses," and so on), you can add another search box (look for a plus sign by the search boxes or an "Add a Row" option) and type that term into an additional search box.
Using OR, AND, and even NOT if you really want NO results involving a particular term is called Boolean searching. For more information about Boolean searching, check out this video:
These databases focus on specific social-science disciplines. To search more broadly, try the databases in the "Interdisciplinary Articles Databases" box.
You can also use the dropdown "Find by Subject" box in the Articles / Databases tab to identify relevant databases by subject.
Subject-specific research guides can also help you find more databases for your topic.