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Melvin Van Peebles: You know there's a lot of us ironies associated with growing old, but for an African American male it's tremendous.

When I was young and I walked down the street and little white ladies in Minnesota pull their purses toward them, now they don't pull it toward them-they smile.

Now I can go places without that frightened stare that would come into people's eyes. It's cause I'm getting older.

Now an African American male is a no, no whenever he's bracketed between the virility stages or what is perceived as the virility stages.

That's why you only have two titles in the old days, boy- they wouldn't have called you a man-and then after you got so old they'd let you be uncle.

It's full of ironies aging, full of ironies. Its all how you look at stuff and America gives you an awful lot of stuff to look at.