By 1850 there were more than 200 slaves in the Roswell area, DeNiro said.
The historian uses photographs and documents to explain life experiences. She said there was an influx of Black people in Roswell in the early 1900s due to racial cleansing in Forsyth County.
Her presentation concludes with a showing of Roswell’s overall increase in population since 2000, including people of color. Population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau for 2019 show Black people represent 13.6% of residents living in the city. Hispanic residents represent 15.4%.
“We want people to know this isn’t the end of the story,” DeNiro said.
DeNiro and Charles Grogan of Ellenwood plan to document an oral history of Roswell residents and memories of Doc’s Café, where Black teenagers socialized during 1950s segregation.
Grogan’s ancestors came to Roswell as slaves and are buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery where he voluntarily keeps up the grounds.
Visit the Roswell Historical Society website at roswellhistoricalsocitey.org.