Melvin Van Peebles, Godfather of Black Cinema, Dies at 89

Melvin Van Peebles, the groundbreaking playwright, musician and movie director whose work ushered in the “Blaxploitation” wave of the 1970s and influenced filmmakers long after, has died. He was 89.

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FILE - Mario Van Peebles, from left and Melvin Van Peebles arrive at the screening of "The Producers" at the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival Opening Night at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Los Angeles. Melvin Van Peebles, a Broadway playwright, musician and movie director whose work ushered in the “blaxploitation” films of the 1970s, has died at age 89. His family said in a statement that Van Peebles died Tuesday night, Sept. 21, 2021, at his home. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
Image via AP Photo/Willy Sanjuan

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

NEW YORK (AP) — Melvin Van Peebles, the groundbreaking playwright, musician and movie director whose work ushered in the “Blaxploitation” wave of the 1970s and influenced filmmakers long after, has died. He was 89. His family said in a statement that Van Peebles, father of the actor-director Mario Van Peebles, died Tuesday evening at his home in Manhattan. “Dad knew that Black images matter. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what was a…

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