Black history in the Spartanburg area remains obscured by the biases and scarcity of early records. By 1790, the first year with a reliable population estimate, Spartanburg County was home to 866 black slaves and 27 “free persons not white,” representing about 10% of the total population.  At the time of emancipation, some 8,300 African-Americans lived in Spartanburg County, around 30% of the total population. Today Spartanburg County is about 21% black. The continued triumph of Spartanburg’s black community over the marks of slavery and prejudice is a powerful story worth telling. The items featured here sample some of the library’s holdings that illustrate that story