The Fayette County Public Library is pleased to announce upcoming events in conjunction with the 2013 Fayette on the Page: One Book, One Community program. This year’s book selection is “Outcasts United,” by Warren St. John, the extraordinary true story of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of a small American town. Occurring annually since 2008, the Fayette on the Page county-wide reading and discussion initiative encourages all Fayette County residents to read the same book, and then participate in related cultural, educational and recreational activities.
Clarkston, Georgia – ten miles east of downtown Atlanta in suburban DeKalb County – 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 – from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find. Add one energetic and charismatic woman from Jordan to lead and coach the players, and the Fugees (short for “refugees”) soccer team was born. A fast-paced chronicle of a single season, “Outcasts United” is a complex and inspiring tale of a small town becoming a global community – and an account of the ingenious and complicated ways we create a home in a changing world.
“Although it is a nonfiction account, ‘Outcasts United’ packs a dramatic punch that any reader can appreciate,” says Sarah Trowbridge, a public services librarian at the Fayette County Public Library. “The fact that it’s about something happening just a few miles away from here makes it that much more powerful. Reading a story like this together is sure to make people think and start some good conversations. That’s what we always hope to do with our Fayette on the Page selections.”
Fayette on the Page 2013 kicks off today at the library, with an international food fair and a couple of fun soccer movie screenings for the family. At 10 a.m. in the small meeting room, the projector will roll a 1995 Disney comedy about a ragtag kids’ soccer team. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., guests can sample foods from around the world in the large meeting room and enjoy some musical entertainment. The second film screening begins at 1 p.m., with a light-hearted story of Buddhist monks who catch soccer fever during the 1998 World Cup.
This movie is in Tibetan and Cantonese, with English subtitles. To find out the movie titles, call or stop by the Fayette County Public Library.
Copies of “Outcasts United” are available for checkout to PINES library card holders at the Fayette County Public Library. Any Georgia resident who does not already have a PINES card can receive one on the spot by showing proof of current address and filling out a brief application.
In August and September, a series of five free public film screenings make up the “What Unites Us” film series. Screenings are scheduled for Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. on August 13 and 27, and September 10, 17 and 24. The series begins on August 13 with a thought-provoking documentary titled “Welcome to Shelbyville,” which invites the viewer into a small town in Tennessee where, as in Clarkston, refugees are bringing change. Other films in the series offer a mix of soccer stories and refugee themes. Licensing restrictions prohibit publication of the film titles for the remaining screenings; contact the Fayette County Public Library at 770-461-8841 for details. A printed schedule for the Fayette on the Page 2013 “What Unites Us” film series, including film titles and descriptions, is available for pickup at the library. All screenings are free and open to the public.
Adults who wish to participate in a discussion of “Outcasts United” may attend the Fayette County Public Library’s monthly book discussion group meeting in September. The group meets that month on Thursday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m. New members are always welcome; email Sarah Trowbridge at email@example.com to join.
Fayette on the Page 2013 finishes up on the evening of Tuesday, October 1, with a special theatrical event. Playwright Suehyla El-Attar and cast members from Atlanta’s Horizon Theatre Company’s world premiere production of “Third Country” will be onsite at the library at 7:00 p.m. to read some scenes from the play and talk about how it came to the stage. “Third Country” was inspired by the same real-life Clarkston events covered in “Outcasts United.”
All Fayette on the Page activities are free and open to the public, made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library.
The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administration complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways 85 and 54. For additional information about “Fayette on the Page: One Book, One Community,” please contact the library at 770-461-8841 or visit online at http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/public_library.