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

R. Kelly. Black woman in grey hat holds sign depicting Black man in black hat and shirt and sunglasses in front of nighttime sky.

R. Kelly Charged With 10 Counts of Criminal Sexual Abuse

Three of the survivors noted by State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx were minors when the singer allegedly abused them.

Hannah Beachler. Black woman with black hair smiles while wearing white dress with red and gray and yellow leaves and black lines in front of grey background with orange lines and grey CocaCola and AT&T logos.

LISTEN: Oscar Nominee Hannah Beachler Talks Bringing Wakanda to Life

The “Black Panther” production designer is the first Black woman ever nominated in her category.

Illustration of Black and Brown and White incarcerated men in brown uniforms in front of white light and dark blue room.

Incarcerated Men Document Their 'Hard Truth' Via Film

Men incarcerated at Pendleton Correctional Facility in Indiana co-directed “It’s a Hard Truth Ain’t It,” which captures their education in documentary filmmaking.

Sammy Davis Jr. Black-and-white photograph of Black man in suit with black tie and white shirt staring at hands in front of curtain.

WATCH: Doc Illuminates Sammy Davis Jr.'s Place in Black America

“Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” explores the late entertainer’s struggles with stardom and his role in an evolving Black America. 

Buffy Sainte-Marie. Indigenous woman with black hair in black leather jacket and shirt and scarf performs behind black microphone and stand and in front of grey curtain under red lights.

Celebrate Buffy Sainte-Marie's Birthday With These 5 Career Highs

The artist and philanthropist, whose work uplifts Indigenous cultural resistance, turns 78 today.

Fred Hampton. Black-and-white photograph of Black man in black hat and jacket in front of white flag with black text and black and white building.

Ryan Coogler to Produce Fred Hampton Biopic

Daniel Kaluuya is in talks to play the Black Panther Party leader.

Edray Goins. Black man in navy suit with blue tie speaks in front of black background and thin red line.

Black Mathematicians Sound Off On Inequality

Scholar Edray Goins takes his discipline to task for the ways it erases Black mathematicians.

Ava DuVernay. Black woman with black locs in red blouse and black skirt speaks behind glass podium with black sign with red and yellow panels and black text that spells "COLOR OF CHANGE" and video screen.

LISTEN: New Podcast Demands We #TellBlackStories

Color of Change talks to Ava DuVernay, Stanley Nelson and other artists about shifting narratives around Blackness.

Black text spells "LikeWise Fiction" in front of white background and inside of rectangular blue border.

'LikeWise Fiction' Podcast Will Showcase Short Stories by Marginalized People

Michael Sakasegawa is crowdfunding for a new audio compilation of short fiction from writers like José Pablo Iriarte and Esmé Weijun Wang. 

R. Kelly. Black woman with black dredlocs stands in black coat and holds white protest sign with black text that spells "#MuteRKelly" and image of Black man in black sunglasses and hat and shirt.

New Video May Lead to Indictment Against R. Kelly

The video, which attorney Michael Avenatti says he handed to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, allegedly shows the singer sexually abusing a teenage girl.

Black-and-white image of Black woman in dress kissing Black man in overcoat in front of curtain.

Celebrate Valentine's Day With 120 Years of Black Love

Shadow and Act compiled 60 seconds of clips, from 1898 to 2018, that show the power of Black intimacy and romance on screen.

Jussie Smollett. Black man in grey suit with light purple tie in front of purple and blue wall with white text that reads "blackaids."

Jussie Smollett Opens Up About Traumatic Assault

The “Empire” star spoke to “Good Morning America” about the racist and homophobic assault he survived in Chicago—and the people who question his honesty.

Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira. Three Black women in grey, black and white dresses smile while holding green award statues in front of grey background with black text.

'Black Panther' Earns Whopping 14 NAACP Image Award Noms

Several of your other favorite film and television projects also made the cut.

Joe Four Horns. Indigenous boy with black hair poses in front of black background.

Documentary Uncovers Delayed Justice for Sexually Abused Indigenous Boys

“Predator on the Reservation” documents an investigation into the institutional failure that allowed Dr. Stanley Weber to allegedly assault boys on Native American reservations.

Iranian-American women and men and other Brown individuals hold green and red and white former Iranian flag with gold lion and green protest signs in front of blue sky and grey building.

READ: The Evolution of Iranian-American Identity

The Associated Press explores America’s thriving Iranian communities 40 years removed from the 1979 revolution.

21 Savage. Black man with black dredlocs holds fist in air while wearing navy hoodie with white drawstrings and rainbow accents in front of purple and orange lights.

21 Savage Released From ICE Custody

The rapper’s attorneys joined activists and musical collaborators in demanding ICE release him and halt deportation proceedings.

Tourmaline, Charlene Carruthers, Miss Major, Alicia Garza and Barbara Smith. Black women in blue and red and orange and yellow clothing pose in various positions in front of brown wood and blue walls

Out Mag Celebrates Black Mothers and Daughters of the Movement

Guest editor Janet Mock spotlights five activist heroes—including Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and Alicia Garza—for Out’s March issue.

Tracy Clayton and Lynn Whitfield. Black woman wuth red hair poses in red dress in front of grey wall. Black woman with black hair poses in purple dress in front of white-gray wall.

Tracy Clayton's New Podcast Celebrates 'Strong Black Leads'

The co-host of “Another Round” interviews Black Hollywood royalty like Lynn Whitfield on the Netflix podcast’s first season. 

Lena Waithe and Halle Berry. Black woman in brown hat and black pants and shirt and navy and white flannel shirt sits on white chair next to Black woman in black pantsuit in White chair in front of Black man and woman and blue screen.

Lena Waithe and Halle Berry Update 'Boomerang' for TV

The new series follows the children of the 1992 Eddie Murphy film’s protagonists.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Black-and-white photograph of Black man waving to spectators surrounding reflecting pool and green shrubs.

Now You Can Stream 'Eyes on the Prize' in Full for Free

Facing History and Ourselves just made the docuseries about the Civil Rights Movement—and lesson plans—available online.