New nonfiction from NER 39.2
When I was born, the Sanders-Scarborough clan had lived for several generations in the sprawling, blanched little town of Blackwater, Mississippi, just north of Meridian in the backwater region near the Okatibbee Reservoir and the Alabama border. If you weren’t a cotton farmer or sharecropper, or a smithy who worked for white folks, there wasn’t much else to do there. Some folks got along raising chickens and guinea fowl, some did light farming but could not prosper. Each year they fell further in debt to the landowner, Ol’ Man Sanders.
François Scarborough Clemmons is a singer, actor, and writer who had a long career as an opera singer, performing with the New York City Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and more. He created and played the role of Officer Clemmons on the children’s TV show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and founded and directed the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble. He was Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence at Middlebury College from 1997 to 2013, where he directed the Martin Luther King Spiritual Choir. He is currently working on a series of children’s books and a memoir, DivaMan: My Life in Song.