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Pioneering Black Filmmaker and Artist Melvin Van Peebles Dies at 89

HeadlineSep 28, 2021

Filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles — praised as the godfather of modern Black cinema — died in New York last week at the age of 89. Van Peebles is best known for his iconic 1971 film “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” which is credited with launching the blaxploitation movie genre. Van Peebles was also an actor, novelist, playwright and composer.

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