Melvin Van Peebles, Godfather of Black Cinema, Dies at 89
“The Godfather of Black Cinema” and “Dying Breed” was the name given to Melvin Van Peebles in Life Magazine following his success with films like Sweetback. His latest movie is set for release this summer after almost 30 years since he last starred on-screen as an actor or directed one himself; though many may say that acting suits him more than directing does considering how great at it he’s been thus far!
The Godfather of Black Cinema, Melvin Van Peebles died at the age 89 today. His films changed American society with their gritty realism and bold subject material for a generation that became known as “The Movement.” He’ll always be remembered for his roles in Sweetback; bring tears to your eyes even 20 years later – something no other film has done before or since
VanPeebles’ notable performances also extended into television where he portrayed Hoke Mayfield on The Cosby Show
A native son Harlem whose family background included slave ownership before emancipation then becoming one its most prominent black citizens during reconstruction after civil war