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Say Brother; Framingham: Who's Gonna Take the Weight?

Part of Say Brother.

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Say Brother
Framingham: Who's Gonna Take the Weight?
Program Number


Series Description

Say Brother is WGBH's longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans, and is now known as Basic Black. Since its inception in 1968, Say Brother has featured the voices of both locally and nationally known African American artists, athletes, performers, politicians, professionals, and writers including: Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Thomas Atkins, Amiri Baraka, Doris Bunte, Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan, Nikki Giovanni, Odetta Gordon, Henry Hampton, Benjamin Hooks, Jesse Jackson, Hubie Jones, Mel King, Eartha Kitt, Elma Lewis, Haki Madhubuti, Wallace D. Muhammad, Charles Ogletree, Babatunde Olatunji, Byron Rushing, Owusu Sadaukai, and Sonia Sanchez. Series release date: 7/15/1968

Program Description

Program focuses on the Massachusetts corrections system, with a particular emphasis on MCI Framingham. Host Sarah-Ann Shaw leads a discussion between Frank Hall (Corrections Commissioner for the State of Massachusetts), Robert Palmer (Chairman of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Corrections), Lester Richards (an inmate at Framingham who was transferred from Walpole), and Antoinette Lifsey (Public Relations Director for Women, Inc.) about the differences between MCI Framingham and MCI Walpole, the policies of both the Department of Corrections and the Governor's Advisory Committee, work-release programs, the need for improvements in the "everyday" life of inmates, and the lack of progress, as perceived by Shaw, Richards and Lifsey. Additional segments include an on-location interview at Framingham conducted by Barbara Barrow with inmates Shirley Lewis, Lester Richards, Iris Grice, Ruth L. Willis, and Robert G. Owens, "Access" (on the Charlotte House Pre-Release Center in Dorchester), "Information" (on community acceptance of halfway houses), the "Community Calendar," and "Commentary" by Producer Marita Rivero on the 1/2" videotape format (that made the Framingham shoot possible).



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Civil rights
Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Walpole
Spellman, A. B., 1935-
Richards, Lester
Hall, Frank
Early release programs
Lifsey, Antoinette
Shaw, Sarah-Ann
Palmer, Robert
Women prisoners
Charlotte House Pre-Release Center (Dorchester, Mass.)
Correctional institutions--Massachusetts
Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Framingham
Imprisonment--Psychological aspects
Race and Ethnicity
Marita Rivero (Producer)
White, Conrad (Director)
Barrow-Murray, Barbara (Associate Producer)
Handyside, Keith (Engineer)
MacDonald, Greg (Studio Technician)
Floyd, Michael (Studio Technician)
Johnson, Henry (Film Editor)
Chigas, Basil (Studio Technician)
Whittier, David (Cameraman)
Koppel, Tiit (Studio Technician)
Lane, Frank (Studio Technician)
Henry, Arthur (Videotape Engineer)
Cross, June (Community Coordinator)
LeCain, Larry (Studio Technician)
St. Onge, David (Videotape Engineer)
Boston Art Ensemble (Theme Music)
Spooner, Dighton (Researcher)
Kane, Pat (Videotape Engineer)
Hutton, David (Videotape Engineer)
Spangler, Jennifer (Engineer)
Fairweather, Bill (Engineer)
Sullivan, John L. (Studio Technician)
Simons, Fred (Videotape Engineer)
Buccheri, Ron (Studio Technician)
Farrier, Stephen (Community Coordinator)
Lawson, Rick (Community Coordinator)
MacKnight, John (Studio Technician)
Holden, Dick (Studio Technician)
Correia, Dennis (Engineer)
Crane, David (Videotape Engineer)
Wareham, Skip (Studio Technician)
Plausse, John (Studio Technician)
Charette, Bill (Studio Technician)
Balhatchet, Tom (Engineer)
Wilson, Bob (Studio Technician)
Bordett, Bruce (Studio Technician)
Shaw, Sarah-Ann (Host)
Smith, Lee (Studio Technician)
Smith, Kathy (Studio Technician)
Jones, Vickie (Production Assistant)
Chicago: “Say Brother; Framingham: Who's Gonna Take the Weight?,” GBH Archives, accessed January 18, 2022,
MLA: “Say Brother; Framingham: Who's Gonna Take the Weight?.” GBH Archives. Web. January 18, 2022. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Framingham: Who's Gonna Take the Weight?. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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