Barack Obama lauds Shea Serrano for ‘coming up with new ways to come together’


Bestselling author and San Antonio native Shea Serrano discusses some of his favorite subjects — movies, basketball, rap music and the Alamo City — during a San Antonio Talks event held at Below at The Maverick downtown.

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Bestselling author and San Antonio native Shea Serrano discusses some of his favorite subjects — movies, basketball, rap music and the Alamo City — during a San Antonio Talks event held at Below at The

… more

Photo: Josie Norris /Staff Photographer

Photo: Josie Norris /Staff Photographer

Bestselling author and San Antonio native Shea Serrano discusses some of his favorite subjects — movies, basketball, rap music and the Alamo City — during a San Antonio Talks event held at Below at The Maverick downtown.

less

Bestselling author and San Antonio native Shea Serrano discusses some of his favorite subjects — movies, basketball, rap music and the Alamo City — during a San Antonio Talks event held at Below at The

… more

Photo: Josie Norris /Staff Photographer

Barack Obama lauds Shea Serrano for ‘coming up with new ways to come together’

As newspaper front pages fill with reports of death tolls and economic distress, Barack Obama shined a light on stories of selflessness and generosity that may have fallen through the cracks.

The former U.S. president lauded a San Antonio luminary, Shea Serrano, and others who have rallied people to help one another during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Some great stories of big-hearted people coming up with new ways to come together—even while remaining apart—to help the vulnerable who face some very tough times ahead,” Obama wrote on Twitter.

Obama praised Serrano, author of the best-selling “Movies (And Other Things),” for using his Twitter platform to “directly support people in need—and helping shift our ideas about how to approach giving.”

READ MORE: San Antonians who have stepped up in the middle of the coronavirus emergency

He linked to a New York Times story that opens with Serrano sitting at home in San Antonio last week, worried about workers losing their jobs because of the outbreak.

Serrano, who grew up in the Valley Hi neighborhood, mustered his 350,000-strong Twitter following and soon raised $10,000. He distributed the money directly to people who sent him screenshots of past-due bills and debt burdens.

“The best part of my job was meeting people like this—ready to make a selfless act in a time of need,” Obama wrote Thursday. “Many Americans are already making deep sacrifices to keep our communities healthy, but if you’re able to, consider helping those hit the hardest.”

On ExpressNews.com: For San Antonio’s Serrano, Twitter was a ticket to creative freedom

The 44th president has been a fan of Serrano for a while. In 2017, Obama cited the author’s “Basketball (and Other Things)” as one of his favorite books of the year.

Serrano responded to Obama’s most-recent praise with a shocked, “OH MY GOD WHAT.”

The other feel-good stories Obama shared include Roxane Gay, author of the essay collection Bad Feminist, using her Twitter platform to help people pay for groceries and the Chicago-based Brave Space Alliance creating a crisis food pantry for vulnerable residents.

Mark Dunphy is a breaking news reporter and general assignment writer. Read him on our breaking news site, MySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com | mark.dunphy@express-news.net | @m_b_dunphy