WHY SALEM UNITED, INC. EXISTS
THE EVOLUTION OF THE FIRST BLACK VOTING SYSTEM
Negro Election Day
Slaves throughout Massachusetts established a Black voting system and practiced black self-governing. They held meetings and elections. With their African Royalty backgrounds, they acted as mediator and liaison between slaves and white owners of slaves and political leadership. There were many other Locations in Massachusetts which also held Negro Election Day event’s, but they were all the same Holiday. King Pompey lived in Lynn MA and later purchased the land on the side of the Saugus Rive holding Negro Election Day until his death
With Slaves becoming Free Black people, Negro Election Day was relocated to Salem Willows Park. It began a name change Such as Maids Picnic and labeled Emancipation Day. Salem Willows Park maintained the Negro Election Day, changed the month it was being held to warmer weather and maintained its civic presence. It held Black Conventions as they were called. Blacks used bags to come over and the church took an active role in the day.
Early 20th Century
Negro Election Day’s celebration now being called The Colored People’s Picnic. Blacks continued to travel to Salem Willows holding community track and field, family gatherings and community and civic leaders met and church choirs. That night the community held Dances with great jazz performers such as Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway.
World War II
Negro Election Day now hosted by the Churches, changing its name to the Church Picnic.
Still in Salem Willows Park it was changed from Saturday to the 3rds Saturday in July. This change was to accommodate factory and defense plant workers. It maintained it family status never losing the importance of black self-governing.
Civil Rights Movement
In 1968, during the Civil Rights Movement, the name was changed to Black Picnic from the strength of self-identity by The Black Power movement. The celebration was a day where black families can reflect and show pride in who they are as family and people.
Negro Election Day took on a different meaning and became a bit more Corporate. It slowed down in attendance, but its celebration continued annually
Negro Election Day was given a rebirth when preserved by Salem United, Inc. It was placed in the National Historical Registry and is in the final stages of its status as a State Holiday. It has resumed its Original name and its historical significance. Today Negro Election Day is used for Voting Rights, Registration, Census and more.
Today the annual celebration Black Celebration Day will be honored on the 3rd Saturday in July at Salem Willows Park, Salem MA. Salem United, Inc. will host the Black American Heritage Flag of 1967 during their flag raising.
2022 NEGRO ELECTION DAY'S BLACK CELEBRATION DAY
After 7 years of a struggle to Preserve, Protect and Build this wonderful history and with todays climate, we want to bring hope and perspective to our Black and Communities of Color. It takes believing in what our history is and hope that others will make a contribution in our celebration.
Salem United, Inc. is reaching out to encourage everyone from Businesses to grassroots Organizations to work together as one. Our Board and Membership came together for our mission. Now we are stepping out to join individuals, organizations and companies bring this history alive.
Salem United, Inc. wants to bring this history across Massachusetts and back to Salem Willows Park in Salem MA where it has been since 1880.
NEGRO ELECTION DAY PARADE 2022
Salem Maritime National Historic Site160 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970
Salem United 2022 theme: TBA
Parade Set-Up Time @ 11:00-11:50 am Parade Start Time @ 12:00 noon.
We will be welcoming our King, Queen and Grand Marshall of Negro Election Day. We plan to bring you the day bigger and best parade ever. We have a lot of work to do as we reach July 16, 2022.
Lets get ready!
SALEM UNITED KING/BLACK GOVERNOR
Black American Heritage Flag Raising
The Black American Heritage flag was designed in 1967 by Melvin Charles and Gleason T. Jackson. According to the designers, "...the elements of the flag include the color black to represent pride and pigmentation and race; red, to remind us of the rich blood black men have shed for freedom, equality, justice and human dignity throughout the world; and gold, to represent intellect, prosperity, and peace. These colors are woven into a composition that juxtaposes the red and black in a set of three stripes: one black stripe centered between two red."
"Superimposed on the black stripe is a golden wreath of fig leaves. The cultivated fig is a native of Africa, and ranks as one of the most ancient of life-sustaining fruits. Centered within the golden wreath is a blunted Moorish boarding sword, symbol of leadership carried by the great Moorish leaders of the 8th century. The sword represents the strength and authority exhibited by a black culture that made many contributions to the world in mathematics, art, medicine, and physical science, heralding the contributions that black Americans would make in these and other fields."
2022 will bring this added event. We will show our flag with pride and explain what the flag means. We are using this day as a day of pride a day of education and a day of working toward self-governing for our community and many other communities of color. We are not Minority Communities we are pride communities of Color.
In 2022 we will be working on 2 flag raisings.
1. Friday in Lynn Mass with our biggest supporter, Mayor Thomas McGee
2. Saturday in Salem MA during the event.
Promote yourself to the community
We would love to have dedicated Vendors
FAMILY, COMMUNITY AND NEIGHBOR GATHERING
Save The Date: July 16, 2022
Families come out from all over Massachusetts and join in on this days celebration. Bring your grills and come cook out with us while enjoying the days festivities.
Live Music And More
We look forward to the return of our dedicated great live band performers. Please return for our list for 2022
Keep Checking for our full 2022 Schedule
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Acknowledge And Recognize Your Community
Salem United believes honoring those who work in the community is a big part of the days celebration. A lot has changed since 1741 but a lot still need to be done in the struggle for equality, justice, disparity and more. Without those in the community doing the work those changes would not be accomplished.
So we say thank you and continue to honor - today, tomorrow and in the future.
Let us know who has worked for the best of our community and help us celebrate them in 2022
Let Your Voice Be Heard In the Community
Part of our work is to disseminate information into the community. We can't do that without your help. So speakers are a very important part of our celebration. You are the experts and we want you to share by speaking to our crowds of few and of many.
VOTE VOTE VOTE
VOTE EARLY AND BRING A FRIEND
Vote Now - They Died For Our Voices To Be Heard
Negro Election Day - That was the first evidence of the first Black Voting System. Voting is the celebration of its origin. We have voter registration so you can be ready for 2020. Register today. Contact join us, its easy.
2022 NEGRO ELECTION DAY FUTURE SCHEDULE
8:00 Park Opens
Singing of the Black National Anthem
Vendor Area: 10:00 – 10:30 a.m..
Vendors 5:30 p.m. Break Down
Bouncy House – set up 10:00 a.m.
Basketball games, we will be working with future request
*Note: Almost all Vendors are Community Based and will cater to uplifting, educating and empowering the low and minority communities
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 Parade Participants
Meet and Greet
12:00 - 1:30 Negro Election Day Parade
*Note: Parade Begins: Derby Street, National Parks Site, turns on to Memorial Drive
Parade Ends: Restaurant Avenue and Bay View Avenue
1:30 - 2:00 Black American Heritage Flag Raising Ceremony
Awards and Recognition Ceremony
*List of participates
Main Stage: Opens at 9:00 a.m.
Ends 7:00 p.m
Live Entertainment and Performances throughout the day
Throughout Park 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Family unity – grilling, give-aways- family fun