Moonlight is making a permanent mark on its roots. According to the Miami New Times, a stretch of Miami-Dade County's Liberty City will be named "Moonlight Way," giving a nod to the inner city neighborhood that the film's creators, director Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, called home and that served as the backdrop for their personal memoirs intertwined in the coming-of-age film.
"Moonlight Way" will be on NW 22nd Avenue from NW 61st Street to NW 66th Street - only a short distance from Liberty Square, where Jenkins grew up and where parts of Moonlight were filmed.
Although McCraney and Jenkins had never met prior to working on the Oscar-winning film, they grew up there at the same time and only streets apart - the two accepted the best adapted screenplay Oscar with McCraney noting how glad he was that "two boys from Liberty City representing the 305" could be onstage.
The film is adapted from McCraney's play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue about coming of age as a young, gay black man, and Jenkins recognized his own life in McCraney's work. Jenkins previously told THR he could relate to growing up in the same area with a mother who suffered from addiction: "I knew that relationship like the back of my hand because that's where my life and Tarell's overlapped," said Jenkins.
Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, who is sponsoring the item, told the Miami New Times that she hopes the street will have a lasting impact in bringing awareness to those who did not grow up in the city.
"This movie - at least what I got from it - really depicts the life of how a lot of us were raised and what we had to go through and endure as children in the inner city," said Edmonson. "This goes out to children still living here in the inner city that are told they'll never amount to anything. It shows that it doesn't matter how you were raised or where you grew up; you can still turn out to be someone."
The dedication comes as Jenkins and McCraney will be in Miami over the weekend for the Moonlight Celebration at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, which is open to the public.