Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 415
Outcasts United is a story by Warren St. John about a soccer team made up of refugee boys and their coach, Luma Mufleh. The author tries to bring out the difficulties faced by immigrants in America. He also paints a picture of racial segregation and its impact on people. In his story, St. John depicts a picture of the changing demographics of Clarkston by providing an insight into the statistics about schools, restaurants, and religious centers.
In the story, Clarkston not only experienced an influx of refugees but also experienced “white flight”. This means that as more refugees settled in Clarkston, wealthy people, who were mostly white, left the town. This means that as an area becomes more diverse in terms of the population composition, the affluent members of such a community are bound to leave so that their “peace” may not be disturbed, as was the case in Clarkston.
The story portrays the racial segregation faced by immigrants in America by depicting the hardships that the Fugees team goes through. The team is kicked out of the Armistead Field by Lee Swaney, the mayor of Clarkston, for no apparent reason. The decision to kick them out was racially instigated by the white community in Clarkston.
Further, the Fugees coach, Luma, is pulled over by a policeman and taken into custody as she escorts her team to a match. She becomes a target because of aiding the refugees and trying to make their life in Clarkston better. Additionally, the author portrays refugees as people with various capabilities just like the Americans. Many of the Fugees go on to college and excel in their academics just like other Americans did. This shows that the refugees are no less capable than the Americans and should be treated in equal measure.
Luma is portrayed as a selfless and caring individual who goes out of her way to ensure the wellbeing of the refugees. She opts not to return to Jordan after completing her studies, but instead chooses to chart her own path in America. Her decision leads her father to disown her, and he ceases financially supporting her. Despite this misfortune, Luma is able to establish her own school known as the Fugee Academy. Thus, the author advocates for people to chart their own path and to follow their own dreams. This is because the resolve and passion that comes with such dreams shall always ensure success and victory over any setbacks, as was the case for Luma.
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