Burr Redding

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Burr Redding (played by Anthony Chisholm) is a fictional character and prisoner on the HBO television series Oz.

Character overview[edit]

Prisoner #01R289. Convicted January 11, 2001 - Murder in the first degree, seven counts of attempted murder. Sentence: Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Redding is an African-American man who has spent his entire life in the ghetto and learned every survival skill the hard way. He took care of his family since the age of ten shining shoes, shooting dice, doing a little bit of whatever was necessary to survive. He served in the Vietnam War from 1966 to 1970 and expanded his killing skills while overseas. After his discharge in 1970, he became a heroin user and dealer who rose to control the drug trade on the ghetto streets as a ruthless authoritarian. It was here that he introduced to fellow inmate Augustus Hill into the world of drugs. Redding was best friends with Augustus' father and mother, the latter of whom Redding had an unrequited love for. When Augustus's father died during the war, his dying wish was for Burr to take care of Augustus. Redding's teaching of the drug business however led to Augustus' eventual incarceration. He served in multiple prisons over his lifetime and is accustomed to jail better than most any new inmate as he states to the staff upon his arrival.

The character quickly becomes the leader of the Homeboys, Oz's Black drug dealers, upon his arrival following the death of Adebisi. He is a ruthless, highly experienced leader with no qualms about violence and who never hesitates to perform murders himself.

Season 4 Part II[edit]

When Redding arrives in Oz, the Homeboys have been in disarray since the death of Simon Adebisi, and unit manager Tim McManus believes that Redding will bring them back into the fold immediately. Introduced to Kareem Said and McManus, Redding congratulates Said not for his intents to change Black men but for murdering Adebisi. He lets McManus know that he knows the prison routine better than anyone given his criminal history. Upon arrival, he meets Augustus Hill who tells him that the Homeboys are being led by inmate Arnold "Poet" Jackson. Poet is not cut out to be a leader and is in no position to deny leadership from Redding. Redding is met by Chucky Pancamo and Enrique Morales and offered a third of the drug trade, but Redding is stubborn and refuses to work with the two of them. When some Chinese refugees are temporarily placed in Oz, Morales frames him for the murder of one of them. Because of his time served in Vietnam, McManus believes Redding is racist towards Asians in general and does not think twice about throwing Redding in the newly constructed cage (According to the journal of Augustus Hill however, Redding's anger never developed towards Asians while serving in Vietnam but instead towards the government and authority figures who deployed many poor African Americans to lose their lives overseas in battle). Warden Glynn releases Redding when he realizes that there is no evidence to convict Redding. This causes tension between the Homeboys and the Italian and Latino inmates.

Redding later sees another problem in inmate Supreme Allah, a Five Percenter who has been excommunicated from the Homeboys. Redding already dislikes Supreme because he is the reason why Augustus Hill is serving time to begin with. Redding tells Augustus that after the police arrested Supreme on an old warrant, he gave them Hill's location so that he could get off on the charge. Hill attempts to attack Supreme but is thrown out of his wheelchair and beaten in the shower room. Because of this Redding calls in Tug Daniels, the brother of the man Supreme murdered and is serving time for killing. Daniels is in the visiting room with Poet and uses a toothbrush shank to attack Supreme. Supreme lives and Daniels is charged with attempted murder. The charge however doesn't bother Daniels since he will have a spot in Redding's gang when inside of Oz. Redding then with Daniels, Poet, and the other Homeboys devise a plan to eliminate all of their enemies.

Burr lays out a plan for the Homeboys and Asian inmate Jia Kenmin to murder the Italian and Latino inmates in the gym and for Omar White to murder Supreme in the hospital. Augustus Hill does not feel right about this and tells Officer Murphy about the plan and the S.O.R.T. team breaks it up. Redding is angered by Hill betraying him so he excommunicates Augustus from the Homeboys but lets him live only because of their history. In the mean time Supreme is told by Pancamo and Morales that he can be their partner if he kills Redding. Supreme plans for Augustus to murder Burr and also is secretly working with Tug Daniels who decides that Supreme is a worthy ally after he lived from the stab wound. Redding finds out the information regarding Daniels from his cell mate, a marine colonel imprisoned for rape, Edward Galson, and murders Daniels in the gym after Poet pays off the COs. Poet is later told by Hill about Supreme's severe allergy to eggs, and they use this information to prepare a special meal for Supreme. Because Supreme dies, Redding offers Hill forgiveness and a place back in the Homeboys. Hill declines but is happy that he and Redding are on good terms again.

Season 5[edit]

This season starts out with a visit from Eugenia Hill, Augustus' mother. Eugenia however is killed with the rest of the family members on the bus after an accident. Augustus is also distraught because his wife is divorcing him so Redding is now the only family he has. Augustus and Burr start by talking about several internal issues that they had within the family growing up, and Burr concludes that Augustus and Eugenia were the only real family he ever knew. Redding however sees an opportunity after Aryan Brotherhood members Vernon Schillinger and James Robson hospitalize Chucky Pancamo and rape Peter Schibetta, the two men running the Italians. He makes a truce with Morales and they muscle the Italians out of the drug trade. The Homeboys and Latinos both control the drug trade with no problems. Redding also uses inmate Omar White to sell drugs through a janitor's closet to inmate Reggie Rawls, the Homeboys main dealer in Unit C. Burr then visits Warden Leo Glynn asking him for control of the cafeteria. Glynn says no at first for two reasons- 1) The Italians run the cafeteria, 2) The last Black inmate who managed the cafeteria, Simon Adebisi did a disastrous job. However, Redding points out that the Italians' current leaders are all out of the loop, that he is not Adebisi, and that the Black inmates who are the majority of the staff don't take too well to "kowtowing to the Dagos." After hearing this, Glynn gives Redding control of the kitchen.

All goes well until Augustus Hill ends hospitalized from a drug overdose. Burr gets upset when Tim McManus accuses him of giving Augustus the drugs. Redding explains that the one thing he will do is not outlive Augustus and vows to bring down the men responsible for causing Hill to nearly die. Poet is responsible for giving Augustus the drugs and Redding accuses him first, but he naturally lies about what has happened telling Burr that he needs to look at the Italians and Latinos before accusing his own gang members. With Carmen Guerra, Poet gets Busmalis to say that Italian inmate Salvatore DeSanto sold Augustus the drugs. Redding then puts LSD in DeSanto's food and he dies from the resulting brain damage. In the hospital however, Augustus gives McManus information that it was not DeSanto or the Italians who sold him the heroin but will not give up Poet. Poet, fearing for his life then forces Busmalis to tell Burr that Guerra and the Latinos sold Augustus the drugs. This causes Redding to accuse the Latinos of drugging Hill, a move which ends the alliance between the two groups.

When Redding is released from solitary, Augustus is out of the hospital. Augustus will not rat out Poet because he made the choice to do drugs himself and is not trying to get anyone else killed. In the meantime, Augustus and Burr talk about the OD and Redding apologizes to Augustus saying that if it were not for him, Augustus would never have done drugs in the first place. They make their peace which is ends when the Italians attack Redding. Italian inmate Frank Urbano and the Latinos have a meeting, Morales apologizes for breaking the alliance and is told that if he wants to be partners again, it will be a 60-40 deal as a penalty with the Latinos getting the 40%. Morales agrees under the condition that Urbano murders Redding and when he attempts to kill Redding, Augustus gets in the way and dies instead. This puts Redding in complete disarray.

Season 6[edit]

The final season of Oz starts with Redding in mourning over Augustus' death. Redding is realizing the error of his ways but is not doing anything because he is depressed and guilty over Augustus' death. Tim McManus finds a journal that Augustus wrote while in jail and was impressed, and asked for Burr's permission to try to get it published. Upset, Burr said that he wanted no part of it. Kareem Saïd tells him to get his men under control as they are attacking other inmates. Blaming the drug trade for Augustus' death, Burr decides to stop selling drugs and start working for a telemarketing company that comes to Oz. He figures this will get the Homeboys to stop selling but several of them especially Poet and Rawls do not want to stop and do not believe in this form of work. Redding however starts them in the telemarketing business, ready to stick with it by any means possible.

The telemarketing business is going well until Poet insults a customer on the phone. Poet is fired by Redding and all the other Homeboys walk out. They decide to work for Arif and the Muslims in the book binding business. Burr in the mean time is committed to keeping Poet and Rawls from selling drugs, so he tells Italian inmates Chucky Pancamo and Frank Urbano to stop any side schemes they try to pull so that they will be forced to come back to work for him. The Italians gladly agree to this and stop one of the Homeboy's connections by running them over with a truck 37 times. Meanwhile, former Black Panther Jahfree Neema arrives in Oz and displays his contempt as Redding tries to ask him for help. Burr wants Neema's help to get his men under control, and Neema calls him anathema. He states this because he hates Redding for forcing several Black youths to sell drugs and get into gangs over the past 40 years. With no other options of how to get his men back to work for him, Redding pays Samuel Gougeon to destroy Arif's binding shop. Burr then tells him that he shouldn't speak and accept the insurance money for what has happened. This forces the Homeboys to work for him again but unbeknownst to him, Poet devises a plan to steal credit card numbers for the purpose of having his cousin on the outside sell the numbers on the street and give the Homeboy's a cut. Arif though confesses to McManus that Redding destroyed the book binding business and even though the other Muslims excommunicate him, McManus gets Redding thrown into solitary as a result, and then is released upon Oz's evacuation.

Murders committed[edit]

External links[edit]