Officer Clemmons : a memoir

by Clemmons, François,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 24 Libraries 31 of 43 copies
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Carnegie Library of Homestead New Non-Fiction 92 Clem
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Cooper-Siegel Community Library - Sharpsburg New Books 92 CLE
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Monroeville Public Library New Books 791.45 CLEMMONS
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Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 791.45028 CLEMMONS Francois
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Mt. Lebanon Public Library Book Stop CLEMMONS
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Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 92 CLEMMONS François
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South Park Library Biographies 791.4502 CLE
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Upper St. Clair Township Library New Book Shelves - Non-fiction 791.4092 CLEMMONS Francois
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Whitehall Public Library Biography Collection BIOG 92 Clemmons, Francois
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Summary

The intimate debut memoir by the man known to the world as Mister Rogers' Neighborhood 's Officer Clemmons, who made history as the first African American actor to have a recurring role on a children's television program.

When he created the role of Officer Clemmons on the award-winning television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood , François Clemmons made history as the first African American actor to have a recurring role on a children's program. A new, wide world opened for Clemmons--but one that also required him to make painful personal choices and sacrifices. Officer Clemmons details Clemmons's incredible life story, beginning with his early years in Alabama and Ohio, marked by family trauma and loss, through his studies as a music major at Oberlin College, where Clemmons began to investigate and embrace his homosexuality, to a chance encounter with Fred Rogers that changed the whole course of both men's lives, leading to a deep, spiritual friendship and mentorship spanning nearly forty years.

From New York to Russia, Berlin to California, Grammy Award-winner Clemmons has performed for audiences around the world and remains a beloved figure. Evocative and intimate, and buoyed by its author's own vivacious, inimitable energy, Officer Clemmons chronicles a historical and enlightening life and career of a man who has brought joy to millions of adults and children, across generations and borders.

Contents
Little Buttercup: the younger years
Youngstown
Off to college
There are many ways to say I love you.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Clemmons begins this account of his remarkable life with a letter to his late mentor, colleague, and friend, Fred Rogers, which is fitting since his role on the now legendary TV show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, as Officer Clemmons is what he's best known for. Born 1945 in Blackwater, Mississippi, four-year-old Clemmons escapes a flood but loses his kindred spirit and singing companion, Granddaddy Saul. His family flees to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, then Youngstown, Ohio. Clemmons doesn't completely break free of his losses until he studies music at Oberlin College, where he discovers his full identity and claims his homosexuality. He then earns a master's in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon, and meets Rogers while singing in the Third Presbyterian Church choir. Not only does Clemmons become the first African American actor to have a major role on a children's program, he also establishes a career as an operatic virtuoso, touring the world and winning a Grammy. Clemmons' warm and candid memoir will engage fans of Mister Rogers and all readers interested in the arts and gay lives."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Clemmons, who played Officer Clemmons on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, tells of his life as a gay African-American in the postwar era, in this uplifting memoir. The Mississippi-born Clemmons grew up in 1950s Youngstown, Ohio, the son of a disapproving mother and abusive stepfather. He sang, studied the Bible, and was intrigued by James Baldwin, among other authors. Clemmons wondered "how he could be such a great writer and be gay" and "Was he still a Christian?" In 1963, Clemmons enrolled at Oberlin College, where he explored his homosexuality and began a long-term clandestine relationship. While in graduate school at Pittsburgh's Carnegie-Mellon University, Clemmons met Fred Rogers. Their quick affinity resulted in his role on the show and a lifelong friendship. However, in 1968, when Rogers learned that Clemmons was gay, he told Clemmons to keep it to himself or leave the cast, and Clemmons complied. "I returned to my place of secrets," he writes; years later, however, Clemmons quietly came out. Clemmons left Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood in 1993, and he humbly tells of his later career with grace: he founded the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble in 1980 and later became artist-in-residence at Middlebury College, where he remained until retiring in 2013. Clemmons's thoroughly delightful, inspiring story will speak particularly to artists in marginalized communities. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Clemmons, François.
Rogers, Fred -- Friends and associates.
Mister Rogers' neighborhood (Television program)
Musicians -- Biography.
African American musicians -- Biography.
Gay men -- Biography.
Autobiographies.
Publisher New York, NY :2020
Language English
Description 277 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781948226707
1948226707
Other Classic View