Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner, stars of the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, are set to receive the keys to the city of Miami Gardens. The city’s mayor, Oliver G. Gilbert III, recently expressed delight in giving the young stars such a prestigious honor.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for us to acknowledge what they’ve done at a young age, and tell them how proud we are of them,” the politician shared. “So often when you hear about young black kids, people don’t want to tell you the stories of these kids and areas that they excel in,” Mayor Gilbert added. “Most times we’re talking about young black boys in a negative context, so anytime we get an opportunity to tell them how extraordinary they are, we will do it. And ‘Jazz In The Gardens’ is the biggest stage that we can offer in the city.”


Many are anticipating the moment that Alex and Jaden receive keys to the city. Alex did an excellent job of portraying a young Chiron while Jaden was Kevin, the main character’s best friend, in Moonlight. It was just a few weeks ago that the young actors returned to Middle School after taking center stage at the Academy Awards. Moonlight won an Oscar for Best Picture to the thrill of the masses who thoroughly enjoyed the film.

“It was a different feel, everybody was saying congratulations and everything and it felt wonderful,” Jaden said of returning to school after the Oscars. Alex recalled the moment that he realized Moonlight won for Best Picture.

“When they first was like, ‘Moonlight’ got it, we were like, yeah, nice joke,” the teen shared. “But they were like serious, you guys got it, and all I remember, I jumped over this guy and he was screaming, and I was like sorry, I just won an award!”

The city of Miami Gardens will honor Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner at the twelfth annual Jazz in the Gardens concert this weekend. Jill Scott, Common, and LL Cool J are slated to take the stage as performers during the event.



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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