New Film Shines a Light on Staten Island’s Black Entrepreneurs
Don’t look for artifacts , memorabilia and documents this month at the Staten Island Museum’s new archives gallery. There aren’t any display cases, just six big black-and-white photographs. The inaugural show in the new space, “Portraits of Leadership: African-American Entrepreneurs on Staten Island,” isn’t a treasure-trove from the collections. It’s a new documentary, focused on personal accounts, rather than facts and figures.
The piece, handsomely shot by George/Chu Media (an Island-based firm run by photographers Robin George and Willie Chu) has face time with the high-profile achievers like North Shore Councilwoman Debi Rose. But it also makes less obvious choices, like the Staten Island Ferry peddler-turned-street poet Kevin Buford. Jeannine Otis, director of arts education, at the museum, selected the subjects. Attitude counted as much as fancy resume entries.