‘Warriors of Liberty City’ Focuses on Team Sports for Miami Youth
Luther Campbell is best known as the leader of rap group 2 Live Crew, but he also founded a program to help youth in his native Miami, focusing on team sports and academics, contributing to the rise of many professional athletes that hail from his hometown.
Campbell is featured in the new documentary series, “Warriors of Liberty City,” premiering on Starz this month. It is created by PGA award-winning director and producer Evan Rosenfeld (“Vice World of Sports,” ESPN’s “30 for 30” series “The U” and “Broke”) and produced by NBA superstar LeBron James.
The six-episode series follows a season with the Liberty City Warriors, a youth football program founded by Campbell, who is affectionately referred to as “Uncle Luke.” Beyond football, the Liberty City Warriors Optimist Club is a youth organization that sponsors sports teams, dance, cheerleading, tutoring and academic support.
The series is drawing comparisons to the acclaimed 1994 film Hoop Dreams, for its focus on organized sports as an escape for the lucky few who make it professionally, as well as a springboard for structure and discipline in children’s lives.
Indeed, the new series takes place in the crime-ridden neighborhood of Liberty City in Miami, which has nonetheless produced more players in the NFL than any other in the U.S., such as Devonta Freeman, Antonio Brown, Duke Johnson and Teddy Bridgewater.
“You fight, and you fight, ’til you can’t fight no more,” Uncle Luke says. “That is the motto of Liberty City.”
Other Miami natives, including NFL star Chad Johnson and Oscar-winning Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, also make appearances to tout the merits of programs such as Campbell’s.
“Warriors of Liberty City” made its world premiere with the first episode at the 2018 South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in the Episodic category, making it the first documentary series to be accepted into the category.
“Warriors of Liberty City” premieres on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, on Starz.