300 Signature Collection
From 1814 to 1860, over 300 Freedom Suit Cases were filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court House. During this period, it was illegal for a slave to be found literate. Question: if this was their first time signing a document, what do you think their signatures looked like? Our 300 Signature Collection answers that question, as we used replica authentic slave signatures to create this collection. This collection highlights a truly vital moment in our past, and we couldn’t be more proud of how it looks.
About This Collection
This collection was created to shed light on the journey from slavery to freedom, with our clothing representing the move to empowerment for all African Americans. Black Child Clothing takes pivotal moments within black culture and we creatively express them through our fashion. This collection highlights a crucial point in American history that doesn’t get talked about enough. Our goal is to use our clothing to educate and empower all who wear it.
From 1814 to 1860, over 300 Freedom Suit Cases were filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court House. During this time period, it was illegal for a slave to be found literate. So, if this was their first time signing a document, what do you think their signatures looked like?
From 1814 to 1860 — when it was illegal for slaves to be found literate — over 300 Freedom Suit Cases were filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court House. These newly-freed slaves had to provide a signature but had never signed their names before, which led to some unique designs.
In 1807, the Missouri Territory authorized a statute that allowed any person incorrectly held in slavery to sue for their freedom. These monumental suits were referred to as “freedom suits,” as it was one of the first points in our history where our enslaved ancestors could fight for their own freedom. This legal process was difficult, as they had to provide witness testimonies and prove they were a free person. Most petitioners were unable to read or write, and without the tools to seek counsel, many of these cases were handled, Pro Bono.
"Once Free, Always Free."
Winny v. Whitesides was the very first freedom suit heard by the Supreme Court of Missouri. This case is monumental as it established the criteria for an enslaved person’s legal journey to freedom. Winny V. Whitesides also birthed the famous quote, “once free, always free.” After this case, the court determined that a slave will remain free, even if they returned to slave territory. The court unanimously found in Winny's favor, making this a huge win for the black community during this time. Following this case, the Missouri General Assembly passed a law providing a process for enslaved persons to sue for freedom, including protections for those making their case.
Design Of Our Products
Some might look at the design of our products and not understand the look and message of our clothing. Our design comes from authentic slave signatures, making this an extremely personal and meaningful collection of clothing. Some might see x’s, others might see lines without connecting the dots, but what we see is a design that sheds light on a truly monumental moment in the journey to freedom. We are extremely proud of our design and are very excited for our customers to be able to wear and enjoy this collection.
To begin, we have the 300 Signatures t-shirt, 300 Signatures hat, and the 300 Signatures distressed hoodie. All of these products share a similar design, putting all emphasis on our ancestors' first signatures. These are real slave signatures. Our clothing is incorporating real pieces of our history. We are here to make a statement, and we believe that this collection accomplishes that.
Are you interested in purchasing clothes that make a statement? Are you searching for clothing that embraces who you are, and does it in a meaningful way? Black Child Clothing has found a way to empower those who wear our products, and that is something that we are extremely proud of. Are you ready to wear clothing that empowers who you are? Purchase clothing from our 300 Signatures Collection today.