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

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Veteran MC Dudley 'Declaime' Perkins On His New Album,'Young Spirit'

The experimental California rapper’s new album, produced almost entirely by wife Georgia Anne Muldrow, is an impassioned ode to the resilience of people of color. Here, Declaime shares his overall vision for “Young Spirit” and faces a question about a homophobic hook. 

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Documentary 'Digging for Weldon Irvine' On the Enigmatic Life of Nina Simone, Q-Tip Collaborator

Filmmaker and DJ Victorious DeCosta turns to Indiegogo to support his film about the man whose prolific career built a bridge from Simone to Mos Def.

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How One Black Woman Celebrated Whiskey's Black Roots When Jack Daniel's Wouldn't

Fawn Weaver thought Jack Daniel’s didn’t give Nathan “Nearest” Green, the enslaved Black man who taught Daniel how to make whiskey, the credit he deserved. So she took matters into her own hands. 

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READ: This Article Explores How Gentrification is Turning NYC's Subway Dancers Into 'Criminals'

A new Okayplayer article profiles street and subway dancers of color who, once a staple of New York City’s commuter culture, find their shows restricted by police and residents who seem them as a nuisance.

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OWN Greenlights 'Moonlight' Co-Writer Tarell Alvin McCraney-Created Drama

The coming-of-age series will draw from McCraney’s youth and follow a 14-year-old boy balancing family pressure and personal trauma while trying to escape poverty.

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ICYMI: This Special Dives Deep Inside 'Unite the Right's' White Nationalist Horror

Vice News’ “Charlottesville: Race and Terror” follows reporter Elle Reeve as she embeds with White nationalist leaders like Christopher Cantwell and Robert Ray.

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READ: Asian-American Activists Issue Call to Resist White Supremacist Violence, Complicity in Open Letter

“It falls on all of us to resist White supremacy, including efforts to be co-opted by White supremacists who do not and have never had our communities’ interests at heart.” 

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Activists Who Helped Topple Durham Confederate Statue Face Charges As Baltimore, Philadelphia Authorities Tackle Monuments

Takiyah Thompson was the first person charged with participation and incitement of a riot for helping to tear down a Confederate memorial in Durham.

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WATCH: Jamila Woods and Chance the Rapper Showcase Beauty of Windy City in 'LSD' Video

The video—which depicts friends of color enjoying a chill BBQ—was written by Chicago Public Schools students.

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Charlottesville Resident in Viral Flame-Throwing Photo: 'The Cops Were Protecting the Nazis'

Corey Long explains how racist violence and police inaction compelled him to defend other protesters from White nationalists’ attacks using a lighter and a spray paint can.

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Pantone Unveils Prince-Inspired Custom Color, 'Love Symbol #2'

The new shade matches Prince’s signature piano.

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RuPaul's 'Queen,' Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson's '2 Dope Queens' Heading to Small Screen

RuPaul will executive produce a series about his life for Hulu, while Williams and Robinson will adapt their comedy podcast into a limited-run HBO show.

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This Media Platform Centers POC-Created Video Streaming Content

Third Space Media’s Faiza Farah wants to upgrade her Oakland-based enterprise into a full-fledged video streaming service for creators of color—and she turned to Kickstarter to make it happen.

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Celebrate Hip-Hop's 44th Birthday With Google's DJ Simulation Doodle

Forty-four years have passed since DJ Kool Herc first looped instrumental breaks for an enthusastic crowd of Black and Latinx Bronx residents. Google celebrates the creation of hip-hop with a Doodle that lets you mix your own breaks on virtual turntables.

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4 Questions With the Directors of the Ferguson Uprising Doc, 'Whose Streets?'

Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis embedded themselves within the protests against the police killing of Michael Brown, braving violent police suppression to capture the uprising from the perspective of Black local activists.

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How One Black Woman Mobilized Hundreds for the 72-Hour #BaltimoreCeasefire

Erricka Bridgeford could not totally stop shooting deaths for 72 hours in her hometown, but a new BBC article explores how she planted the seed.

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FaceApp Learns Nothing from Past Mistakes, Introduces and Promptly Removes More Racist Filters

The newest filters let users render their selfies with “Asian, Black, Caucasian and Indian” features, because apparently Blackface and its derivative forms are hot with young people right now.

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FX Unveils POC-Driven 'Snowfall' Renewal, 'Mayans MC' Preview

The network behind “Atlanta” announced a second season renewal for John Singleton’s show about the 1980s crack cocaine boom. It also shared footage of its “Sons of Anarchy” spinoff, which will focus on a Latinx outlaw motorcycle club.

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Must-Read Roundup: 3 Boundary-Pushing Black Artists Spill on Creativity and Politics

Kendrick Lamar, Donald Glover and Chance the Rapper each discuss their work and influence in a trio of new interviews.

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A New 'Dawn' Emerges With Ava DuVernay's Upcoming Octavia Butler Adaptation

DuVernay, Victoria Mahoney and Charles D. King round out the all-Black creative team developing the first book in Butler’s “Lilith’s Brood” trilogy into a television series.