Portfolio > Film

Solomon Riley Presents Negro Coney Island
16mm, B&W and Color
12 minutes
2021

*This film will accompany the Cities of the Dead installation for the Open Call exhibition at the Shed in the summer of 2021.

Often discussed as an urban legend or a failed architectural project, Solomon Riley Presents Negro Coney Island redresses the erasure around Riley’s completed amusement park for the Black Residents in Harlem and the Bronx in 1924 on Hart Island. Working across archives, contemporary footage of Hart Island, and speculative interviews with key Black cultural producers of the time, including Riley, the film reimagines what we know about Negro Coney Island and its legacy with New York City’s still active potter’s field, Hart Island.


Written, Directed, Produced, and Edited by Ayanna Dozier
Co-Produced by The Shed and MONO NO AWARE

Cast

Solomon Riley ……………Ricky Goldman
Elizabeth Riley…………… Selam Worku
Harold Curtis Brown ………… Rayly Aquino
Jimmie Daniels ……………… Moses Jeune
Florence Mills …………… Crackhead Barney
James Van Der Zee …………… Terrance Livingston Jr.
Director …………… Ayanna Dozier

Production

Art Director ……………… Ayanna Dozier
Production Support ………… Steve Cossman
Costumes/Hair & Makeup ………… Ayanna Dozier
Sound Design/Editing ………… Ayanna Dozier


Music

“Choo-choo (I Gotta Hurry Home)”; Written by Duke Ellington, Dave Ringle, and Bob Schafer;
Performed by Duke Ellington’s Washingtonians (Duke Ellington, Billy Murray, Rosario
Bourdon, Ed Smalle, William H. Reitz, and Francis J. Lapitino); © Public Domain

“Counting the Blues”; Written Gertrude Rainey; Performed by Ma Rainey and Her Georgia
Band; © Public Domain

“Stormy Sea Blues” ; Written by Thomas Dorsey; Performed by Ma Rainey and Her Georgia
Band; © Public Domain