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

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.

Cast: Ricky Goldman, Selamawit Worku, Rayly Aquino, Moses Jeune, Crackhead Barney, & Terrance Livingston Jr.

“Choo-choo (I Gotta Hurry Home)” by Duke Ellington, Dave Ringle, & Bob Schafer © Public Domain; “Counting the Blues” by Gertrude by Ma Rainey © Public Domain; “Stormy Sea Blues” by Thomas Dorsey & Ma Rainey © Public Domain


Spectral Grounds: Black Experimental Film, programmed by the Culture Art Society (MONAGNGAMBEE), 2022

Open Call: 2021, group exhibition, curated by Adeze Wilford, The Shed