ICYMI: Elle Just Published a Powerful Digital Project on Flint

By Yessenia Funes Aug 09, 2016

“Flint is family.”

That’s the message behind Elle’s latest digital package. Released yesterday (Aug. 8), the immersive digital project chronicles three generations of Flint, Michigan women: Shea Cobb, her nine-year-old daughter Zion, and her mother, Renée, 55.

“Flint was family,” Mattie Kahn* writes. “Family was Flint—until now. This is the story of how a town loses a family and a family loses a town.”

For people unfamiliar with the details surrounding the water crisis that left the predominantly Black city of 100,000 with poisoned lead water, Kahn* gets into how it all happened (including a straightforward timeline). She also lays out what’s to come: Could this happen somewhere else? Will those responsible be held accountable? How can people help?

The digital project also includes images, both still and moving. A film features Shea Cobb’s rhymes, as the Flint mother is a bus driver by day, singer and poet by night.

This essential read reminds the public that the water crisis continues. President Barack Obama may have taken a sip of Flint water in May, but Cobbs is adamant that she will never drink it again, Kahn* reports.

That’s the Flint reality. 

*Post has been updated to reflect the correct author’s name. While LaToya Ruby Frazier did contribute photography and video to the project, Mattie Kahn did the writing and reporting.