In Officer Clemmons: A Memoir (Catapult, 2020), François Clemmons tells the story of how he became the first ever African-American recurring character on a children’s television when he took on the role of the friendly police officer in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. But this book is more than a behind-the-scenes show business memoir. It is a touching coming of age story that reveals what it felt like to be young, gifted, black, and gay during a time of intense racism and homophobia. We come to understand that Clemmons found in Mr. Rogers a mentor figure who made Clemmons feel loved and appreciated, just as Mr. Rogers made millions of children feel through his program. Officer Clemmons: A Memoir is a testament to the quiet power of love.
Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA program at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts. His plays have been produced, developed, or presented at IRT, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Gingold Group, Dixon Place, Roundabout Theatre, Epic Theatre Company, Out Loud Theatre, Naked Theatre Company, Contemporary Theatre of Rhode Island, and The Trunk Space. He is currently working on a series of 50 plays about the 50 U.S. states. His website is AndyJBoyd.com, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.