In the year 1830, the state of North Carolina adopted into law the act to prevent all persons from teaching slaves to read or write. The teaching of slaves to read or write, has a tendency to excite dis- satisfaction in the minds of slaves, and will produce insurrection and rebellion, to the manifest injury of citizens of this state of North Carolina. Any free person, who shall hereafter teach, or attempt to teach, any slave within the state to read or write or give or sell to such slave any books or pamphlets, shall be liable to indictment in any court of record in this State of North Carolina. And the slave shall be imprisoned; and or whipped at the discretion of the court, not exceeding 39 lashes and not less than 20 lashes. "Act Passed" by the General Assembly of North Carolina at the Session of 1830 (Raleigh:1830). Despite the racism of North Carolina and other united states in America, slaves did learn to read and write. Even though many slaves were not literate they would sign documents using a scribed "X" in lieu of a signature. The courts permitted this as long as the X-mark was witnessed. The individual signatures enclosed in this unique presentation is not a critique of their "penmanship". On the contrary, our intention is only to show a individuals style of "handwriting" their name. Iconic as these African-Americans are, their signatures reveal a vibrant visual attached to their personality. Children today are not encouraged to write in cursive, so it is becoming a lost art. This book shows the beautiful penmanship of iconic figures of our past and present.