I stumbled upon an excellent resource recently for African American family history research: AfriGeneas (pronounced: A · fri · GEE · nee · as). Users submit information that they have on their family members into searchable databases, allowing African Americans to search Census records, death records and obituaries, marriage records, photos, and even some slave records for their ancestors. There are also discussion forums, places to list or search for family reunions, and a "Lunch Bunch"--an online chat group that meets Monday through Friday from noon to 1:30pm.
The best resource that I have found on AfriGeneas is the Surname Database. By typing in a surname, you can get a listing of all of the people who are also searching for that surname on AfriGeneas. I was able to make contact with a distant cousin who is related to me through my great-great-great-grandfather, Daniel Booker, by searching for Bookers in Alabama on AfriGeneas. What a miracle!
AfriGeneas is free to use, and you can also submit your own information for others to search. It is an excellent resource to help those of us with African ancestry "climb the 1870 'brick wall.'"