Mandela Van Peebles is graduating Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor’s in Communications in May 2016. This spring will be momentous for the young Van Peebles when he appears USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (2016) and in the TV miniseries Roots (2016), based on Alex Haley’s epic story. Cast as Noah, a field-hand with a hunger for freedom, whose actions cause Kunta Kinte and Belle’s beloved daughter, Kizzy, to be sold to another plantation owner. While attending college Van Peebles has acted in several feature films, including his first starring role in “We the Party” with Snoop Dogg, Michael Jai White and Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister; “Baadasssss!”, a documentary that is an homage to his paternal grandfather, filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, and directed by his father, Mario Van Peebles; American Warships with Carl Weathers; “Judgment Day” starring Ice-T and Coolio; and the documentary short film “Bring Your ‘A’ Game.” As a child growing up Van Peebles took the opportunity to act alongside his father and grandfather multiple times, and with his siblings.as well. The entertainment industry is ingrained in the family line. Keeping with family traditions, Van Peebles has lent his talents to music, hip-hop, and creative writing. Born in 1994, his name is in honor of the great Nelson Mandela. Living up to his namesake, Van Peebles recently traveled to South Africa, where he spent his time doing volunteer work, tutoring, furthering his interest in social justice specifically in Johannesburg and Cape Town. During his free time the experience compelled him to write. Much like his character Theodore in “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage”, a sailor in the segregated Navy of 1945, Van Peebles seems to intrinsically understand the pen can be as mighty as the sword.
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