Adding carbon black (CB) particles to elastomeric polymers is essential to the successful industrial use of rubber in many applications, and the mechanical reinforcing effect of CB in rubber has been studied for nearly 100 years. Despite these many decades of investigations, the origin of stiffness enhancement of elastomers from incorporating nanometer-scale CB particles is still debated. It is not universally accepted whether the interactions between polymer chains and CB surfaces are purely physical adsorption or whether some polymer-particle chemical bonds are also introduced in the process of mixing and curing the CB-filled rubber compounds. We review key experimental observations of rubber reinforced with CB, including the finding that heat treatment of CB can greatly reduce the filler reinforcement effect in rubber. The details of the particle morphology and surface chemistry are described to give insights into the nature of the CB-elastomer interfaces. This is followed by a discussion of rubber processing effects, the influence of CB on crosslinking, and various chemical modification approaches that have been employed to improve polymer-filler interactions and reinforcement.