fred rogers | WAMC

fred rogers

While you may not immediately recognize the name François Clemmons, you certainly may know him from his groundbreaking role as Officer Clemmons, a recurring character on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" with Fred Rogers.

Clemmons overcame a difficult childhood of discrimination to become a musician, a noted choir director, and to serve as a positive image of a black American at a time when racial tensions in the United States were very high.

As he writes in his new memoir, he found a family in Fred Rogers, a friend and mentor. He writes about his life and his deep friendship with Rogers in his new memoir "Officer Clemmons."

From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville ("20 Feet from Stardom"), "Won’t You Be My Neighbor?" takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Mister Fred Rogers.

A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.

The highly anticipated and already much lauded film will be the closing night presentation of this year's Berkshire International Film Festival. BIFF takes place May 31-June 3. Nicholas Ma is a producer on "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" and he joined us to talk about the movie and his relationship with Fred Rogers.