Flint Residents Not Convinced By New Report That Says Water is Safer


A new report indicates that the water system in Flint, Michigan, no longer contains excess levels of lead that surpass federal limits. However, Flint’s residents, who have been affected by lead poisoning in their drinking water, say the man-made water crisis is nowhere near resolved.

The deadly water fiasco began in 2014 after an official appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder switched the community’s water supply source to the Flint River. As a result, lead-contaminated water was streamed into the homes of thousands of Flint residents for months. The water also corroded Flint’s pipes. Following the public health crisis, a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak linked to the water killed a dozen people.

On Tuesday, state government officials released a letter stating that the elevated level of lead has been contained.

Per The Associated Press:

The 90th percentile of lead concentrations in Flint was 12 parts per billion from July through December, below the “action level” of 15 ppb, according to a letter from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to Flint’s mayor. It was 20 ppb in the prior six-month period.

Based on the sample of 368 residential sites, Flint’s lead levels are again comparable to other similarly sized U.S. cities with older infrastructure, state officials said.

“This is good news and the result of many partners on the local, county, state and federal levels working together to restore the water quality in the City of Flint,” said the department’s director, Heidi Grether, in a statement. “The Flint water system is one of the most monitored systems in the country for lead and copper, and that commitment will remain to ensure residents continue to have access to clean water.”

Gov. Snyder also released a statement praising the report.

“The remarkable improvement in water quality over the past year is a testament to all levels of government working together and the resilient people of Flint helping us help them through participation in the flushing programs,” it reads.

Despite the “good news,” community residents say it’s way too early to celebrate, especially since officials are advising residents to only consume filtered or bottled water until new water pipes are replaced in the city.

Melissa Mays, a community advocate with Flint Rising, told The AP that the new report “means nothing. There’s still lead in the system.”

She went on to argue that, “Numbers always fluctuate and the department only tested one percent of homes in one period of time in Flint. These reports are premature and it gives residents and everyone else a false sense of security that things are getting better when they are not,” she told NBC News.

Other residents, like 49-year-old disabled veteran Arthur Woodson, say the water is “still not safe.”

Likewise, resident and mother Tonya Blooming questioned the government’s progress. “If it’s been years and I still can’t drink or use the water, then what progress is that?” she asked. “Lead numbers change week to week, and I have a feeling there will be another report later on that will negate this one. It’s happened to me before.”

“Reports like this butter people up so it looks like things are all great, but is really just laying the groundwork to exit without actually doing anything,” added Flint resident Donald Harbin.

On Wednesday, Detroit rapper Big Sean announced on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah that his foundation raised almost $100,000 to help victims in Flint. He also expressed his own personal views on the public health crisis and revealed that his mother was affected by the lead poisoning.

“It’s not even close to being over,” he said. “That situation wasn’t a natural disaster. It’s something that should’ve been prevented and could’ve been prevented, so it’s just disgusting to think about the damages that these families and even kids have to go through with the lead poisoning.”



Selena HillSelena Hill is the Associate Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and the founder of Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can hear her and her team talk millennial politics and social issues every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.

Learn more about the water crisis by listening to her 2016 radio interview with Flint activist Nayyirah Shariff, Coordinator with the Flint Democracy Defense League, below.


New-Look Detroit Pistons, Fox Sports Detroit Tap Rapper Big Sean for New Promo [Video]

Fox Sports Detroit and the rapper Big Sean have teamed up for a new promo for the Detroit Pistons’ 2013-2014 season. He’s just the latest rapper to partner with an NBA team in marketing efforts — most notably, Jay Z helped revamp the Brooklyn Nets, and Drake and the Toronto Raptors announced a partnership.

The Pistons are expected to be much improved this season after adding guard Brandon Jennings and forward Josh Smith.

So Much More is the twelfth track from Big Sean’s first album, Finally Famous. The track was produced by No I.D.

Big Sean’s Detroit mixtape was named Mixtape of the Year at the BET Hip Hop Awards. Released on Sept. 5, 2012, the project received well over a million downloads.

Take a look:


Lincoln Gives Back with Mike Epps and Big Sean

Thanksgiving came early for nearly 30,000 people yesterday in Detroit.

Lincoln Motor Company teamed with some of the biggest names in the worlds of sports and entertainment in support of the Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance to provide meals for those in need. Celebs gathered yesterday for the annual “All-Star Giveback: Thanksgiving Edition” at Don Bosco Hall on the city’s west side.

The annual charity event distributed more than 600 turkeys, 100 hams and other holiday dinner items to Detroit residents on a first-come, first-served basis.

Headlining the event were comedian Mike Epps, multi-platinum recording artist Big Sean and his non-profit Sean Anderson Foundation, R&B singer Dwele, and a collection of professional athletes that included former NBA stars Derrick Coleman, Willie Burton, Carlos Rogers, Rick Mahorn, and former Detroit Lions Herman Moore, Lomas Brown and Ron Rice.

“All of these entertainers and athletes understand what it’s like to grow up in households of need,” said Tarence Wheeler of The Wheeler Group, event organizer. “They’ve all enjoyed success, but none of them have forgotten. They understand the importance of utilizing their success to help others in need.”

Lincoln made a monetary donation to purchase turkeys and to benefit the Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance.

5 Money Lessons From Big Sean’s ‘Higher’

As it concerns a new album from hip-hop Money Lessons favorite Big Sean, well, we’re waiting, too. Big Sean will release his sophomore album Hall of Fame “soon.” But as much as a perfectionist as he is, and his regret that he didn’t take more time with his debut project, we all understand why he might be hesitant. We’ll take today to cull financial lessons and ideas from his hit ‘Higher” which is produced by hip-hop wunderkind Key Wane.

1. Maximize your time. There are only so many hours in the day. What can you do in the down time that you have to gain an edge? Can you review your budget? Can you work on your sales pitch? What about that lingering addition you haven’t made with your special freelance project? When he raps, “Today if I don’t earn, best believe I’m gon’ learn,” it’s a lesson that whatever time you have needs to be used to the max. It’s something entrepreneurs understand, and the quicker you get it, the better off you’ll be.

2. Treat yo’ self. “Man, I made myself a boss and then I gave me a promotion,” is the line out of the song where we see Sean’s self-determination to create opportunities for himself and then for others. Depending on what you value, by creating opportunities for others you formulate a wealth of participation that can’t be taken away, wealth that is often tangible and intangible. Again, it depends on what you value. But if you’re the boss, it’s your obligation to make a way for people who come behind you.

3. When you get money, your tastes change. As much as he talks about Benihana, you’d think Big Sean has some kind of endorsement deal with the chain of hibachi restaurants. “Benihana [is] my McDonald’s” is his clever (some would say) way of illustrating how selective he is about what he eats. It’s natural that you tastes change. What’s not natural is the idea that you live beyond your means at any cost — or that you live without the discipline of a budget.

4. “There’s more to the world than trying to make a living.” That’s verbatim. And, you know, you’d think that this should go without saying, but it really doesn’t — especially amid the hustle of trying to maximize every minute of every day, staying disciplined to budgets and charts and stocks and investments, and being obsessed with not making enough. Sometimes you should really sit back, and evaluate what’s meaningful to you and spend some of your energy following through on it. And then get back to the grind.

5. Follow always the principles of partnership. What’s better: one or two? Actually, don’t answer that. But folks who are successful know something about how collaboration can have a positive effect on building wealth, a business, or profitable side hustle. In the case of this song, it’s the relationship between producer Key Wane (born Dwayne Weir) and Big Sean, which goes back to their days at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School. The pair recently entered into a co-publishing deal, which ensures they’ll make plenty of music — and money — down the road. Find out who you work best with, and how you complement each other. The rest will take care of itself.

5 Money Lessons From Big Sean’s ‘Guap’

big sean smiling in car on set of guap videoIt pretty much goes without saying, but Big Sean had a monster year in 2012. Sean released the critically-acclaimed Detroit mixtape, featuring hits like the Key Wane-produced “Higher,” and “24 Karats of Gold” with J. Cole. He headlined a homecoming show at the Palace of Auburn Hills, earlier this month.

Guap, the first single from the forthcoming album “Hall of Fame, Memoirs of a Detroit Player,” debuted at No. 31 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

If you listened to Detroit, you know that Sean, “made a mil’ before 25,” and that, for all of his apparent success, Sean’s devoted himself to creating opportunities for others around him. He also formed the Sean Anderson Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to encouraging and empowering Detroit’s young people.

Let’s decode his latest single, Guap, which, for the uninitiated is parlance for money. The song’s produced by fellow Detroit native and wunderkind Key Wane. Check out our profile of him here.

Onto the mula.

Pay yourself first. With all of the giddiness of a schoolboy who just found a bag of money, Sean squeals: “I’ve been working all … year, I just got my check. I’m ’bout to spend it all on me, I’m worth it!” Rappers get a bad rep for spending ungodly amounts of money on bottle service, luxury amenities and the like. That stigma is a bit dated, however; I imagine there are far more artists who are careful spenders, savers with a team looking out for their best financial interests. (Sean has repeatedly said that he bought his mom a house this year.) If you put in the work, it only stands to reason that you should benefit first — especially if you don’t have any dependents.

No days off. “I ain’t even got no time for no time off, and I’m on!” Sean’s declaration that he spends time working is a lesson for young entrepreneurs out there: If someone who is at the top of their game works incessantly at their craft, what does that say about hard work? There is no replacement for a strong work ethic.

Let resistance motivate you. “They like, ‘Boy, won’t you get your rest on? … ‘Cause I’m up for every hour I was slept on!’” You are going to meet up with resistance when you are trying to do anything worthwhile or of consequence. If “haters” is your preferred term for meeting up with resistance, fine. The point is that you’ve got to learn how to negotiate people’s expectations, and leverage your relationships to finish what you want to accomplish.

Do the hard work, and don’t rely on mysticism, luck, or wishing. This is my favorite line in the entire song: “Never had a palm reading, always had my palms itching time to get it.” I seriously don’t have a problem with anyone that plays the lottery, or anyone who prays for financial success. All that simply won’t fulfill you in the way that straight up, honest hard work will. Earning potential is a hypothetical measurement that’s ultimately really based on an individual’s capacity for hard work and sustainable behaviors that will lead to profit in the future. You don’t get there by, as Sean says facetiously in this rap, by going to Miss Cleo, or something, trying to figure out the future. Your financial destiny is there, waiting in the balance. And you are the master of your domain. Time to get it!

Take care of home, and then enjoy the fruits of your labor — however you see fit. “I done paid taxes, paid dues, paid bills my whole life, so I’mma throw money in the air, like I’m tryin’ to pay the sky.” The image of a rapper ‘making it rain’ will forever make some people cringe, and that is a good thing. The glorification of wasteful, irresponsible spending should bother people, no matter the state of the economy. Sean’s statement here is a bit tongue-and-cheek, but it sheds light on a basic truth. When you take care of the financial demands of life and the people around you, you really do deserve to enjoy yourself. If throwing money in the air is your thing, knock yourself out.

Just make sure I’m somewhere close. I need a spa day.

Big Sean Has Plans For New Non-Profit Organization

G.O.O.D. Music rapper, Big Sean, has announced that he has launched the Sean Anderson Foundation, which is aimed at assisting school-aged children in Detroit.

“The mission of the Sean Anderson Foundation is to assist in the education, health, safety and well-being of Detroit area school-aged youth,” Big Sean told AllHipHop.com

The Sean Anderson Foundation will have its headquarters in Detroit and will be run by Big Sean’s mother, Myra Anderson. Anderson will also be president, and a Board of Directors will be appointed by her and her son, Big Sean.

Read about it on AllHipHop

Big Sean Showcases His Style in GQ

Detroit rapper Big Sean showed his more fashionable side in a spread with GQ.

Usually pictured in a t-shirt and jeans, Big Sean layered up for the magazine latest issue’s photoshoot, looking quite ready for those cold fall and winter nights in Detroit.  His button ups, blazers, scarves and quilted vests add a little heft to his frame.

Head over to GQ to see more looks from the spread.

What’s your favorite look on Big Sean? What male rapper do you think has great style?