Veteran filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles has passed away at the age of 89.
According to CNN, Melvin died at his home in Manhattan on Tuesday night. The news of his demise was announced by his family. “Dad knew that Black images matter. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what was a movie worth? We want to be the success we see, thus we need to see ourselves being free. True liberation did not mean imitating the colonizer’s mentality. It meant appreciating the power, beauty and interconnectivity of all people,” Melvin’s son Mario Van Peebles said in a statement.
Melvin was popularly known as the godfather of modern Black cinema. He had helped champion a new wave of modern Black cinema in the 1970s — especially with his films ‘Watermelon Man’ and ‘Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song’.
Melvin also was also a novelist, theatre impresario, songwriter, musician and painter.