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Man of van Peebles! Melvin talks about his career on May 2

Melvin Van Peebles is one baadassss.

As the director of the groundbreaking 1971 film “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” Peebles paved the way for other independent filmmakers in the blaxploitation genre with his militant tale of a black man on the run from “the man” after saving a Black Panther from racist cops.

Forty years later, the director, producer, actor, composer and writer is still kicking butt. The septuagenarian recently adapted the iconic (and a bit out-of-context) film during a residency at BRIC.

Next up, the cigar-smoking filmmaker will discuss his work with collaborator Greg Tate at the Brooklyn Public Library on May 2.

“General audiences know him primarily as the father of blaxploitation,” said Meredith Walters, the library’s manager of Adult Programs. “But this event will give fans and filmmakers the chance to learn more about his radical courage in commanding every aspect of creation, production and marketing of his films.”

Sweet and baadassss at the same time.

Melvin Van Peebles at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch [Grand Army Plaza between Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Avenue, (718) 230-2100], May 2, 1:30 pm. Free. For info, visit

— Meredith Deliso

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