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Miami street renamed in celebration of Moonlight

A selected stretch of Liberty City’s Northwest 22nd Avenue will now be known as ‘Moonlight Way’

When Moonlight eventually came away with Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, nowhere celebrated harder than Liberty City.

The Miami area – home to both director Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, from whom the story was adapted – provided the setting for the celebrated film, firmly rooting it within the community and culture of the neighbourhood. When accepting the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay alongside Jenkins, McCraney announced: “We can really be here and be somebody, two boys from Liberty City up here onstage representing the 305.” 

Now, the relationship between place and picture is set to be further immortalised, with Miami-Dade county announcing that a stretch of Northwest 22nd Avenue will be renamed ‘Moonlight Way’ in celebration of the Oscar-winning film. The designated section – which runs from Northwest 61st Street to Northwest 66th – is a few blocks from Liberty Square, the public housing complex in which young Chiron lives with his mother during the film. 

Miami-Dade commissioner Audrey Edmonson, who also grew up in the area and helped sponsor the renaming, said: “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

“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.”