It was disappointment, then confusion, then elation.
When it was announced that “La La Land” had won the Oscar for Best Picture, the crowd gathered at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Liberty City erupted in boos. Moments later, elated cheers broke out as the mix-up was corrected and “Moonlight” was given the award.
The group had gathered to watch the 89th Academy Awards in the city that fostered the cinematic work of art.
The made-in-Miami movie from writer/director Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney focuses on a young gay boy growing up in Liberty City. Both men were born in Miami and grew up within blocks of each other in Liberty City, raised by mothers struggling with drug addiction.
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“Two boys from Liberty City up here on this stage representing 305,” McCraney said as he accepted the award. “This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender-confirming who don’t see themselves … this is for you.”