The legendary film director and beloved activist Melvin Van Peebles transitioned early Thursday morning of natural causes.
The historic director was best known for his seminal masterpiece, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, which is given credit for launching a new era in Black entertainment known as Blacksploitation.
Mr. Peebles film was so popular and sold so well in theaters that white Hollywood marketing companies who had previously been reeling throughout the early 1970’s due to lack of venture capital, began throwing money at Black directors in hopes that the most creative group of people on the planet could save a dying industry.
As usual they bet on Black and they bet right.
Peeble’s Sweetback film grossed over 15 million dollars, setting a national box office record at the time, and more importantly proving that a Black protagonist in front of the camera is what audiences across the country really wanted to see.
Mr. Van Peebles leaves behind the Van Peebles family to continue his work, he also leaves behind the Black community who he gave his life to.
He is beloved and He will be missed.
–Kel Mckight, B1Daily