Sameer Rao

Culture Reporter/Blogger
Picture of Sameer Rao

Sameer Rao is a reporter and blogger for Colorlines, focusing on 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 artist's self portrait on white pieces of paper with black ink, mounted onto white wall

New Fellowship Offers Grants for Previously Incarcerated Artists

"We firmly believe that formerly incarcerated individuals not only have a right to fully return to society, but can offer innovative solutions to one of the most pressing issues of our time."

Brown woman in orange jacket and brown classes in front of red car and grey boombox with graffiti

Beauty Break: Xenia Rubinos Dances Through NYC in Black Joy Project-Inspired 'L.O.V.E.' Video

Rubinos: "This is my ode to Brown and Black joy."

Black-and-white composite image of Black man in black hat, jacket and pants next to White man in black tuxedo and white shirt next to Black boy in dark t-shirt with white text

Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein to Bring Trayvon Martin's Story to Film and TV

The duo behind "TIME: The Kalief Browder Story" acquired the rights to two books about Martin, including his parents' recent memoir. They plan to turn them into a narrative film and docuseries.

Black men and woman in black coats and shirts in front of police officers in navy baseball caps and jackets with dark-lit brown trees in background

Records Show NYPD Deployed Video Surveillance Teams to Hundreds of Black Lives Matter, Occupy Actions

The Verge reports that NYPD camera crews monitored protests against police violence and economic inequality from 2011 to 2013 and again in 2016.

Black man in brown shirt, navy jacket and blue hat in front of multicolored-dressed people on grey sidewalk; White man in White outfit in front of dark grey building with grey walls

NYPD: James Harris Jackson Killed Timothy Caughman 'To Make a Statement'

Assistant chief William Aubry says Jackson traveled to New York with the intent of hurting a Black man. 

Black man in grey shirt with black text and brown pants stands in front of multi-colored painting, with two people in black and grey clothing holding cellphones, all in front of white wall and brown wood floor

Black Artists Demand New York City Museum Remove, Destroy Painting of Emmett Till

"It is not acceptable for a White person to transmute Black suffering into profit and fun," reads Hannah Black's open letter about Dana Schutz's painting, "Open Casket."

Black man in grey suit and white shirt next to Black woman in black sunglasses and brown-grey jacket in front of red brick wall and black window

Deadly Police Violence and Unsolved Murder Ignite Racial Turmoil in 'Shots Fired'

Fox's new limited series stars Sanaa Lathan and Stephan James investigating the death of a White student at the hands of a Black sheriff's deputy in a small North Carolina town.

Blue bird icon in white rectangle on blue phone screen

READ: How White Racists Try to Infiltrate Black Twitter

NPR's Code Switch spoke to The Atlantic's Vann Newkirk and #OscarsSoWhite founder April Reign about their experiences with racists who pose as Black people via fake Twitter accounts.

Asian woman in grey sweater in front of green leaves; Brown woman in Black blouse in front of green leaves

Firelight Media Announces Inaugural Class of 'Impact Producer Fellows'

Director Stanley Nelson's new fellowship offers training for selected activists and artists of color as they produce a campaign for a documentary film.

Black-and-white image of black-and-white police vehicles on a grey road near buildings and grey smoke

John Ridley's L.A. Riots Doc, 'Let it Fall,' Coming to Theaters Ahead of TV Premiere

The "12 Years a Slave" writer's documentary about the rising racial tension that led to the 1992 unrest is the first ABC News production to earn a theatrical release.

Black-and-white image of a Black man in a dark suit speaking at a podium in front of Black and White men, all set in front of grey background

Library of Congress Acquires Archive of Civil Rights Movement Photos

Bob Adelman's photos of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and other racial justice figures from the 1960s onward will now be part of the Library's collection. 

Black man in light purple shirt and black pants holds brown guitar behind black microphone stand in front of blue screen with black text

Honor Chuck Berry's Guitar-Slinging Greatness With These Classic Clips

Berry—hailed by many as a pioneer of what would become rock n' roll—died at age 90. Celebrate his legacy with these songs and performances.

Black man in white jersey with red lettering in front of blurry red-brown background

ICYMI: NFL Teams Aren't Happy With Colin Kaepernick's Activism

An anonymous general manager told Bleacher Report that Kaepernick's activism against police violence might cost the free-agent his career.

Black man in purple, gold and green shirt and green hat next to Black man in black t-shirt next to Black woman in black t-shirt next to Black woman in red, white and black jacket behind Black table in front of White wall

New Orleans Bounce Artists, Documentarians 'Bring That Beat' to SxSW

Panelists talked about the dance music genre's history and prominent artists at South by Southwest.

Black-and-white image of a Black man in suit and patterned tie with white shirt in front of grey wall

NABJ Founder Claude Lewis Dead at 82

Former colleagues and mentees remember Lewis as a trailblazer and mentor for generations of Black journalists.

Purple and pink satellites, speakers and rocks in front of orange sky and under black hair extensions

How 'Neurospeculative AfroFeminism' Uses Virtual Reality to Explore Otherworldly Transformation at a Black Hair Salon

Colorlines sat down with designers from Hyphen-Labs, a multidisciplinary creative collective led by women of color, to discuss the inspiration behind the immersive experience they showcased at South by Southwest.

Man in green camouflage uniform and helmet holding black assault rifle in front of brown wall with black graffiti

Upcoming Doc, 'Burn, Motherf***er, Burn!' Explores Origins and Legacy of L.A. Riots

"Fresh Dressed" director Sacha Jenkins' latest documentary premieres on Showtime April 21, 25 years after racial tensions exploded into days of unrest that shook Los Angeles. 

Black woman in pink blouse next to Black woman in brown leather jacket next to Black man in black shirt next to Black woman in blue blazer, all sitting behind black table with white signs with black lettering in front of brown wall with pink sign

These Researchers Are Studying How Videos of Police Violence Impact Black Millennials

South by Southwest dispatch: Wake Forest University researchers presented their in-progress research about how 18-to-24-year-old African Americans handle the emotional toll of seeing police violence online.

Black-and-white image of a Black man in a white shirt and shorts seated on a plaid couch next to a Black boy in a black shirt and dark pants against white background

WATCH: Jussie Smollett Attacks Oppressive Political Climate in New Music Video

The "Empire" star directed the video for his song, which pleads for love and justice in the face of police violence, xenophobia and attacks on reproductive justice.

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READ: South Asian Americans Must Unite to Fight Trump Policies

In a new op-ed in The Washington Post, rapper Raj "Lushlife" Haldar reflects on some Hindu Americans' embrace of Trump's political agenda, discrimination against South Asian Americans and the need for cross-religious Desi organizing to fight new anti-immigrant policies and violence.