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

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.

Kenan Thompson. Black man in navy suit with red and gray striped tie and white shirt holds finger in front of green wall and brown painting frame.

Watch 'SNL' Educate Virginia Politicians About Blackface

In 2019. Still.

Janelle Monáe. Black-and-white image of Black woman in black and white performance attire playing white guitar behind black-and-white microphone stand in front of white lights.

Your Favorite Artists of Color Won Big at the Grammys

See Janelle Monáe, Childish Gambino and other performers and victors rule the awards ceremony—even in their absence. 

Jordan Peele and Spike Lee. Black man in red blazer and white shirt and pants poses next to Black man in black hat and red and black jacket in front of darkly lit background.

Jordan Peele and Spike Lee Talk Black Film

The producer and director of “BlacKkKlansman” look beyond awards season to a bright future for Black screen artists.

Aaron McGruder. Black man smiles in black blazer and t-shirt with multicolored logo in front of white wall with black text that spells "The New York Times"

ICYMI: Aaron McGruder Resurrects 'The Boondocks' Just in Time

Huey, Riley, Robert and Ruckus take on the presidential administration’s racist policies, Russian subterfuge and R. Kelly.

Yara Shahidi, Charles Melton and Nicola Yoon. Asian and Indigenous man in navy suit and white shirt sits next to Black woman in blue dress, both with black hair, in front of teal background and under yellow text that spells "THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR"

Young Love Battles Deportation in Trailer for 'The Sun is Also a Star'

Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton bring Nicola Yoon’s bestselling novel to life.

Gold text spells "GUCCI" on glass background reflecting blue sky on brown building.

Gucci Pulls Blackface Sweater From Site, Shelves

The fashion house thought a Black knit top with bright red lips would sell well during Black History Month. Social media users disagreed. Emphatically.

Nelson Makamo and Cicely Tyson. Greyscale illustration of black child in red glasses behind black text reading "TIME" and white text; Black woman in red outfit in front of red background and red text that spells "TIME" and white text

Ava DuVernay Guest-Edits TIME's Optimism Issue

“The national headlines were what we’ve come to expect: bigotry, poverty, injustice, trauma, trouble. I weighed my own feelings of despair and doubt against the idea of reveling in an experience dedicated to optimism. The choice was easy.”

Black man in black vest and hat and sunglasses and red plaid shirt holds white sign that spells "NET NEUTRALITY AFFECTS US ALL" in black ink, standing next to Black man in black jacket and hat in front of brown building and grey sky

WATCH: House Hears Advocates' Demands for Net Neutrality

Representatives of Free Press and other digital justice groups testify before the House of Representatives on the FCC’s repeal of open internet protections.

Jamila Woods. Black woman with black dredlocs in white tank top and blue denim shorts sings into black microphone on black stand in front of blue lights.

Jamila Woods' New Album 'LEGACY! LEGACY!' Channels Black Creatives

The Chicago singer and poet teased her second full-length record by releasing a music video for “ZORA,” named after the iconic author.

Gold Oscar statues in multiple rows on brown pedestals in front of beige and black background

The Oscars Won't Have a Host This Year

After Kevin Hart stepped aside from the hosting gig the Academy struggled to find a replacement.

Eva Longoria. Latinx woman with brown hair smiles in black shirt and gold jewelry in frong of woman in brown leopard-print shirt and brown scaffolding and blue curtain

Eva Longoria Seeks Stories Affirming Latinx Humanity

“We have to think of ourselves as more, and I want to show that on TV.”

Nathan Phillips. Black-and-white photograph of Indigenous man holding feather and other articles while wearing black jacket and glasses and surrounded by people in dark clothing

Read Nathan Phillips' Story, In His Own Words

The media hype around the Covington Catholic boys couldn’t stop this Indigenous activist from speaking his truth. 

Asian revelers march among red and yellow and white and blue decorations hanging from grey and brown city buildings

Lunar New Year Reads: 5 Reflections on the Year of the Pig

Read five Asian-American writers’ reflections on this auspicious day for members of their communities.

21 Savage Black man with black dredlocs and face and neck tattoos poses in orange jacket with grey hood in front of green shrubbery.

Activists and Artists Mobilize Against 21 Savage's Deportation

“The circumstances of Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s detention stand as a testament to the consistent and historically under-reported harassment and targeting of Black immigrants,” Patrisse Cullors notes.

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid. Illustration of two Black men in light blue jerseys raising fist and taking knee in front of yellow and orange background with other people and text that reads,"IF NOT US, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?"

This Artist Spent Super Bowl Halftime Painting Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid

Brandan “Bmike” Odums wanted to support the athletes’ activism against police violence during the big game. So, he made a mural.

Alfonso Cuarón. Latinx man poses with gold and black award in black and white tuxedo in front of blue wall with blue and yellow icons

Alfonso Cuarón Was the Only POC to Win a Directors Guild of America Award

Even the Diversity Award went to a White guy. Woof. 

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, T-Boz and Chilli of TLC. Black woman in yellow bandana and camouflage jacket next to Black woman in red bandana and shirt next to Black woman in coral shirt and brown hat in front of blue screen.

LISTEN: Songwriter Kandi Burruss and TLC's Chilli On How 'No Scrubs' Became a Classic

On NPR, Burruss and Thomas discuss the lasting impact of TLC’s hit song nearly two decades later.