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Say Brother; Social Control

Part of Say Brother.


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Say Brother
Social Control
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 surgical and psychotropic research being proposed (and in some cases, implemented) to curb violent tendencies via the testing of prison inmates. Host Topper Carew speaks with inmates of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk and two groups of professionals in two separate interviews: the first with Rev. Edward Rodman (of the Episcopal Diocese of Boston) and Professor Stephan L. Chorover (of the MIT Psychology Department) to discuss "psychosurgery"; the second with Arnold Coles (Chairman of the National Prisoners Reform Association) and Richard Clapp (formerly with the Prison Health Project) to discuss drug experimentation. Discussion topics included reactions to the theory of dysfunction in the brain as a source of violent behavior, whether surgery is necessary to remedy behavior, what the political implications of surgery are, what diseases "pyschosurgery" is justified for, what the ethics of "psychosurgery" are, and how drug companies end up doing much of their experimentation in prisons.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Coles, Arnold
Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Norfolk
Clapp, Richard
Slave trade
Imprisonment--Psychological aspects
Civil rights
Chorover, Stephan L.
Rodman, Rev. Edward
African American prisoners
Race and Ethnicity
Barrow-Murray, Barbara (Associate Producer)
White, Conrad (Director)
Topper Carew (Producer)
Nicholas, Huntley, Jr. (Film Sound)
Carew, Topper (Host)
Johnson, Henry (Filmmaker)
Spooner, Dighton (Researcher)
Chicago: “Say Brother; Social Control,” 05/29/1974, GBH Archives, accessed January 18, 2022,
MLA: “Say Brother; Social Control.” 05/29/1974. GBH Archives. Web. January 18, 2022. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Social Control. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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