“Moonlight’s” Oscar-winning screenwriters Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney set their movie in the same Miami neighborhood where they grew up. On Tuesday (April 18), their hometown repaid the attention by naming a street after the movie.
The Miami Herald reports that the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners’ 13 members voted unanimously to rename six blocks of 22nd Avenue in the predominantly Black Liberty City neighborhood “Moonlight Way.” The stretch between Northwest 61st and 66th Streets includes the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (pictured above), where McCraney once studied and director Jenkins shot some of the movie’s scenes. The center will host a celebration of the two writers on Saturday (April 22).
“What this movie really did is depict how people grow up here in the inner city,” County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, the Liberty City native who sponsored the resolution to rename the street, told the Herald.
Jenkins and McCraney based the coming-of-age drama, about a Black boy exploring his sexuality, on McCraney’s unproduced semi-autobiographical play, ”In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.” As quoted by the Herald, the resolution says “Moonlight” ”evidences the possible heights of success for students from underserved communities and dysfunctional family backgrounds, and exemplifies life’s possibilities when family members foster a love of reading and when neighbors and educators fight for all students and cultivate their talents.”