What's the difference between primary and secondary sources?
For more on this, see this 4-minute video, Understanding Primary Sources. (It's the second video on the list. You can skip the first video by just clicking on the title Understanding Primary Sources below the video window.)
SearchPlus does not have a good way to limit your results only to primary sources. However, the library's database list does identify online collections we have purchased access to which are composed of the most common types of primary sources: diaries, letters, legal documents, photographs, first-hand accounts, etc.
Go to the Electronic Resources section of the library website: er.lib.msu.edu. (This section identifies all the individual databases we subscribe to - all types including primary sources. Most, but not all, are being searched collectively when you use SearchPlus.)
On the left, click on the Primary Sources tab. On the right is a short list of the most frequently used online collections of primary sources. Or go to the entire giant list at the bottom.
Here are some primary source databases related to your topic:
African American Communities (Black urban life)
Archives Unbound Collections. Subcollections include: