Academic Search Complete draws from resources in every discipline but also provides many kinds of limiters, so you can focus a search on peer reviewed articles, English language resources, certain formats, dates, etc.
Gale Virtual Reference Library includes numerous encyclopedias, which provide reliable overviews of many topics. For example, a search for "Xhosa" brings up an article from the Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life.
JSTOR allows you to limit search results to different types of academic content, like journals or book chapters, or to primary source content, like images or documents.
SocINDEX with Full Text indexes scholarly and professional journals in social services and public policy. Beginning with the keyword "Apartheid" or "Bantustan" will bring up articles related to issues in Born a Crime.