It will be called Moonlight Way to celebrate Barry Jenkins’ achievements in moviemaking
Awards season may be over, but Barry Jenkins’ groundbreaking film, Moonlight, is still racking up honours. After taking home three Academy Awards and one Golden Globe, the film is being celebrated once again. A street in Miami’s Liberty City neighbourhood—where Moonlight largely takes place—will be renamed Moonlight Way after the film.
Moonlight Way will encompass the length of Northwest 22nd Avenue from Northwest 61st Street to Northwest 66th Street. Jenkins (the film’s screenwriter and director) grew up in the neighbourhood himself, as did Tarell Alvin McCraney (the playwright of In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, the play upon which Moonlight is based). “We’re two boys from Liberty City, representing the 305 [Miami’s area code],” McCraney said, standing next to Jenkins while accepting the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay earlier this year.
“This movie—at least what I got from it— 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,” Commissioner Audrey Edmonson of Miami-Dade County told the Miami New Times. The county’s commissioners (elected officials) are sponsoring the name change.
“This goes out to children still living here in the inner city who are told they’ll never amount to anything,” she continued. “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 film has been unanimously praised for pushing past tired, limiting stereotypes of inner-city African-American life by presenting a young gay boy’s quiet story of his search for himself. Edmonson believes Moonlight has created national awareness of the impoverished neighborhood. “To everyone, I’d say it’s still not too late to watch it. It will bring awareness to those not brought up that way.”
The name change passed unanimously, and the legislation stated that 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.”
Here’s to driving along Moonlight Way and feeling extra proud.