Francois Clemmons sang in the choir at Fred's church. Fred asked him to be play Officer Clemmons on the show in its debut year of 1968. As a black man who grew up in a poor neighborhood in the 1950s and 60s, Francois did not have a positive image of the police. But Fred convinced him that this Officer would be a helper and spread a more positive message than what Francois had expereienced. Through their friendship, Clemmons educated Fred on the ongoing struggle for racial justice. Together they sent a powerful message in 1960s America when they soaked their feet together in a pool at a time when civil rights activists in the south still fought to integrate pools.


  • Title: Officer Clemmons uniform
  • Subject Keywords: Mister Rogers
  • Type: Artifact
  • Original Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections

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