Actor and filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles died at home with his family aged 89 after a long career in the filmmaking industry.
Melvin Van Peebles is most well-known for his films in Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (’70s Watermelon Man) and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (which told the story of a Black male who escapes white police officers).
Melvin was an actor and writer with many talents.
Mario Van Peebles is his son and an actor. He shared a touching tribute in the official statement.
He said: “Dad knew that Black images matter.
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, what was a movie worth? If we want to achieve the success we see, we must see ourselves as free.”
Mario added: “True liberation didn’t mean following the colonizers’ mentality. It meant recognizing the power, beauty, interconnectedness and interdependence of all people.”
Within the statement, the Criterion Collection, a home video distribution company, said they were “Melvin Van Peebles, a giant in American cinema, has died at home at the age of 89. We are deeply saddened.
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