The Pamphleteer, part 1

ghettohb11This is an interesting little archive of racial politics and the state of public education in Houston, Texas in 2007. Apparently, a police officer assigned to Houston public schools created this pamphlet for his colleagues in order to help them “learn to speak ebonics.” See more of the officer’s pamphlet here.

Pamphleteering, as an urban archival practice, has a long history, and has been connected to some of the most incendiary and revolutionary urban actions of all time. (Think Thomas Paine in the streets of Philadelphia, 1776).


George Orwell wrote a great review of the pamphlets circulating around London in 1943. Most of them, he concluded, were rubbish. But at the same time, he argues that the pamphlet is a “flexible form,” perfect for documenting things as they are happening, and for expressing one’s feelings quickly and succinctly. Kind of like a blog, right?

What would it mean to collect pamphlets handed out by “crazies” and “weirdos” around the city? Do you have a collection of pamphlets from some time in some city? Do you remember how you came across them? I’d love to see or at least hear about them. How would one go about collecting blogs of the city?

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