James Patterson has gained wealth and fortune creating tales of suspense. But it’s no mystery that the writer’s latest move is aimed at the greater good of BIPOC communities.
It was recently reported that Patterson donated $1.3 million to Howard University for 12 James Patterson Writer Education Scholarships, worth $10,000 each for the current academic year, and to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for 14 fellowships allocated to 11 fiction writers and three poets.
“I was brought up to give back — so my mother and grandmother should get the praise here,” Patterson said in a statement as reported by USA Today. “I’ve dedicated my career to getting as many people to love books as possible. I advocate for literacy and schools, fund teacher scholarships, and support other writers, booksellers, and librarians in any way that I can.”
The author also donated $2 million to PEN to support the organization’s mission to amplify free expression worldwide and $2 million to Scholastic for their “The United States of Readers project.”
The donation comes a few months after the writer came under fire for his controversial remarks about the state of diversity in writing. The best-selling author said he believes white men are struggling lately to get hired in the entertainment industry. A few days after meeting online backlash, he apologized stating “I apologize for saying white male writers having trouble finding work is a form of racism. I absolutely do not believe that racism is practiced against white writers. Please know that I strongly support a diversity of voices being heard—in literature, in Hollywood, everywhere.”