Sameer Rao

Arts & Culture Reporter
Picture of Sameer Rao

Sameer Rao is a reporter for Colorlines, focusing on arts & culture news. As a freelance writer, Sameer's work has appeared in Stereogum, VICE's Noisey, Under the Radar, Splitsider, Philadelphia City Paper, WXPN's The Key, PhillyVoice, the Public School Notebook, and Independent Restaurateur. His writing primarily focuses on music, comedy, theatre, film, social entrepreneurship, race, media, gender, critical theory, pop culture, and where all of those things intersect. Sameer is a graduate of Haverford College and Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and he has also worked as a non-profit marketing coordinator, case worker, and community organizer.

Follow Sameer on Twitter: @amancalledsrao

Black-and-white photograph of Louis E. Lomax in suit and tie in front of black background

#TBT: Remembering Louis E. Lomax, America's First Black TV Newsman

Lomax broke the television news color barrier in 1958.

Beyoncé flips blond hair while wearing gold sweatshirt and blue jean shorts behind Black marching band members in yellow shirts and black hats in front of dark background with grey smoke

Listen to This Show About the Enduring Strength of the Black National Anthem

Beyoncé’s Coachella performance may have introduced “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to a new audience, but the song maintains more than a century of deep ties to African-Americans’ struggle against racism.

Aretha Franklin in green dress with silver embroidery holding black microphone in front of black screen

How Aretha Franklin Lent Her Voice to the Civil Rights Movement

The Queen of Soul, who just passed away at age 76, captivated the world with her vocals and turned a plea for “Respect” into a rallying cry for justice. Revisit her legacy.

Constance Wu in white shirt sits and holds hands with Gemma Chan in blue-and-white-striped shirt in front of brown beach sand and black night sky

'Crazy Rich Asians' Uplifts Women As Resilient, Complex and Resolutely Human

By giving its female leads room to explore the complexities of their relationships, this Asian-led rom-com goes beyond the boundaries of its genre and centers their agency for the world to see.

Graphic showing Black woman with brown hair and gold jewelery on brown road near White woman in red hues in front of red sky and green buildings; graphic of Black woman on purple screen with gold and white text

Fight Misogynoir Via the 'Kekubian Assassin' Mobile Game

Colorlines chats with “Random Acts of Flyness” producer, composer and writer Nelson Mandela Nance about the new mobile game, which follows a Black woman as she successfully neutralizes racist and sexist threats to her well-being.

Kenan Thompson in black vest and black and red and white plaid shirt in front of black wall with white and red and blue text

'SNL' Vet Kenan Thompson Talks TV Comedy Evolution

The new Emmy nominee—and longest performer in “SNL” history—discusses his career and the show’s slow work in increasing Black representation in a new profile.

Kelly Lytle-Hernandez in blue patterned shirt and black glasses and white pants leans on grey metal handrail in front of white wall and brown floor with multicolored paint

These Storytellers of Color Just Earned American Book Awards

The 39th cohort of awardees features several novelists, scholars, poets and other literary figures whose works interrogate race in America’s history and present.

Painting of "Black Panther" cast in multicolored clothing against blue sky on red and gold carpet

How Fans Created The First Ever Wakandacon

Black storytellers successfully envisioned what Wakanda—a futuristic African country unencumbered by colonial baggage—could be. Then a group of “Black Panther” fans brought Wakanda to Chicago.

John Legend in grey jacket and black patterned shirt in front of white wall with multicolored paints

John Legend On The 120-Year-Old Law That Still Oppresses Black Louisianians

“Ending the 10-2 jury rule in Louisiana will not solve the issue of mass incarceration or dismantle White supremacy, but it will deal a significant blow to both.”

Cast of "Crazy Rich Asians" in multicolored dresses and suit in front of gold and green background

Singaporean Critics Ask Who 'Crazy Rich Asians' Really Represents

While many Asian Americans and allies see film as a game-changer for representation, some Singaporeans feel the movie’s focus on a largely Chinese-descended economic elite ignores marginalized Asians.

Lauren Harrier with black afro raises fist in black leather jacket and sweater while seated on John David Washington with black afro in blue denim jacket and navy sweater in front of brown wall

Five Must-Read Takes On 'BlacKkKlansman'

Check out what people have to say about Spike Lee’s film about the Black cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan.

Cast and creators of "Charmed" sit on two-tiered black stage in multicolored clothing in front of purple background

'Charmed' Creators, Stars Defend Reboot's Women of Color-Led Cast

“We’ve had the chance to see three White witches.”

Tessa Thompson with black dreadlocks in red blouse in front of dark grey wall with white and gold text; Ruth Negga with black cropped hair in black dress in front of black wall with yellow text

Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga Star in 'Passing' Adaptation

The actresses will star as a pair of childhood friends who wrestle with the fallout of one friend passing as White.

LeBron James smiles in Black suit and turtle neck in front of white wall with black text

LeBron James Spins Pundit's Insult Into Sports Activism Docuseries

Showtime’s “Shut Up and Dribble,” which counts the NBA superstar among its executive producers, will explore the history of the NBA and activism.

Green street sign with capitalized grey letters in front of grey sky

See ICE's Terrifying Impact on Columbus' 'Refugee Road'

A new documentary highlights the impact of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and xenophobic rhetoric on the Mauritanian community in Ohio’s capital city.

Beyoncé in white dress and multicolored floral head ornament in front of white sheet; Beyoncé in navy and red floral dress holding white sheet while standing on green grass in front of blue sky and green trees

5 Insights From Beyoncé's Vogue Story, In Her Own Words

The superstar got real about her pregnancy, Beychella, being photographed by Tyler Mitchell for the cover and more in her story for Vogue.

Stop-motion animation of Black couple in bed with white frame pink and yellow and blue comforter on brown wood floor

Watch The First Episode of 'Random Acts of Flyness' For Free

HBO made the premiere episode of Terence Nance’s surreal series, complete with segments about Black love and survival, available to stream gratis.

Sanaa Lathan with shaved head in purple blouse and navy skirt holding brown bag in front of green flowers

Sanaa Lathan Seeks Hair Liberation in 'Nappily Ever After'

“My hair was a second job. Now I’m forced to focus on myself. I wonder who I’ll be.”

Rob Bonta in dark grey suit with red tie behind brown podium and in front of brown wall

ICYMI: Why California's API Caucus Made Diversity in Filmmaking the Law

“We were just sick of the whitewashing.”

Archival image of Black South African women with black afros holding hands in air and smiling near taxi cabs in front of buildings

Follow These Five BlackStar Film Fest Flicks After the Festival Ends

Of the many movies being screened at the annual event, here are the must sees once they open to the public.