Outcasts United

Outcasts United Study Guide

Outcasts United is a book published in 2009 by author and journalist Warren St. John.

The book tackles contemporary issues faced by refugees, especially those from Africa and the Middle East, who have been placed in the United States. The book focuses on the large and diverse refugee community of Clarkston, Georgia, a town which until the early 2000's was almost entirely made up of white, Christian American citizens. A steady influx of refugees has since changed the demographics of the town drastically. This shift sparked controversy in the town, which was not prepared in terms of resources to deal with the incoming population, especially with regard to the limited education and English skills of the adults and children.

The book focuses on a soccer team called the "Fugees" (short for "refugees") started by a woman named Luma Mufleh, an immigrant to the United States herself, though from a more privileged background than the refugees she invites onto her team. The soccer team provides young refugees with an outlet for their energy, a chance for community, and a guiding structure to keep them out of gangs and to make progress in school.

St. John published an article about the team in 2007 for the New York Times before deciding to write the book based on the article's popularity.