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A new cultural exhibition by Salem United, Inc. opens May 28 at Hamilton Hall in Salem. The exhibition will showcase over 20 paintings, displays, and banners until August 29, 2021.

In the exhibition Unmasking & Evolution of Negro Election Day and The Black Vote, Salem United, Inc. and its president, Doreen Wade, demonstrate how the first black voting system evolved into the “Black Picnic Day” celebration that has been running for 281 years. They show how black self-governing started with West African slaves and how white America used voting suppression methods to constrain elections. 

The exhibition shows the first Black King/Governor in Massachusetts in 1740, then gives names of those through New England who have earned the title and the relevance of their contributions. 

Salem United, Inc. is an organization founded in 2015 by three black women, Lorraine and Doreen Wade (a mother and daughter) and Su Almeida. Its mission is to preserve, protect, and build black history. Ms. Wade has traced her family back to the 1600’s in Massachusetts and New England and took a powerful interest in preserving this monumental history. This is her first cultural exhibition. 

“While trying to restore Black Picnic Day’s annual event in Salem Willows Park, I unmasked an unknown black history fact: Negro Election Day,” says Doreen. “This history uncovered a forgotten contribution of excellence by those whose bravery during America’s ugly period of enslavement led to the creation of a governing system. Yet, its history still remains unmasked.” 

Unmasking & Evolution of Negro Election Day and The Black Vote cultural exhibition will surprise Hamilton Hall visitors with its significance, detailed history, and moving reveals. Full information can be found at and at