Publication Date

Spring 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


Nicholas P. Taylor


Race, Social justice, Social media, Young adult

Subject Areas

Creative writing


Everybody Else is a novel that follows the story of the Promise Scholars, a group of math whizzes thrust into the media spotlight after a tech billionaire launches an engineering program at their low-income, predominantly black, high school. The purpose of this novel is to explore contemporary racism in America, the complex relationship between philanthropy and poverty, and the role of technology in instigating social change. Each chapter is a complete story, representing a unique first person perspective as the students navigate the closure of their school, the dissolution of their benefactor’s interest, and their enrollment in an affluent neighboring school, which clearly does not want to claim them. While race plays a significant role in the overarching plot of the novel, it never supersedes the individual characters’ humanity and the personal challenges they must confront. By constructing multi-dimensional characters with complex inner lives and moral conflicts, strive to provide a nuanced fictional world to investigate the impact of racism on the individual, the family and the community. Further, I have overlaid technology throughout the work as a means to question the role of the internet, social media, and instant global access in the lives of contemporary teens and the adults who support them. At some points, technology negatively disrupts the characters’ lives, while at other times it provides opportunities to generate positive change on a scale unimaginable to prior generations.