Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world's war zones. Suddenly its streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors—children of war and displacement—playing soccer in any open space they could find. The town also became home to the charismatic Luma Mufleh, an American-educated woman from Jordan, who founded a youth soccer team made up of Clarkston's refugee children. They named themselves the Fugees.
Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their coach, against the backdrop of an American town that without its consent had become a vast social experiment. Warren St. John documents the lives of this wildly diverse group of young people as they miraculously coalesce into a band of brothers, while also painting a fascinating picture of a fading American town struggling to make a haven for its new arrivals—and a community of refugees who, in the face of daunting challenges, transform the town.
Driven by the fast-paced chronicle of a single season, this is the complex and inspiring tale of a small town in confrontation with the world, the resilience and hope of a refugee community, and the ingenious and complicated ways we create home in a changing world.