“Influential director Melvin Van Peebles died on Tuesday night at home in Manhattan. The 89-year-old director was best known for his independent films Watermelon Man (1970) and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971).
“He was also the father of Mario Van Peebles, with whom he wrote and directed the movie Panther in 1995. The elder Van Peebles told NPR that year he considered that film a history lesson for kids too young to remember the Panthers’ community activism.
“”But more than a history lesson, because history can tell a lot of stories,” he said. “This history lesson also encourages the young people to be active.””
Read more at NPR