2016: Time Makes 2-Year-Old Face Of Flint Water Crisis

January 21, 2023 all-day

Flint Water Crisis Featured on Cover of Time, February 1, 2016

Sincere Smith, 2, became the national face of the Flint water crisis today after Time magazine put the rashed toddler’s picture on its cover with the headline, “The Poisoning Of An American City.”

Detroit Free Press photographer Regine H. Boone took the picture for Time, telling the national weekly that Smith’s mother actually fears giving the boy baths, even though its done with bottled water, not with the lead-tainted municipal water.

“This boy actually fears the water,” Boone told Time. “It’s like Kryptonite to him: he starts screaming. His mother says it’s burning him and when he’s in pain, the whole family is in pain.”

Quotes from the issue: Mona Hanna-Attisha, a Flint pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Michigan State University whose research confirmed the rising lead levels, has since been praised for her work. … For almost five years, Flint has been effectively run by a series of unelected officials appointed by the governor. “The state was in charge of the city,” says Eric Scorsone, a professor of government at Michigan State University and an expert in the state’s emergency-management law. “So the state kind of has to own the problem.”

Josh Sanburn, “The Poisoning of An American City”, Time, January 21, 2016. Article embargoed for one week then it will be available through the MSU Libraries online catalog.

Olivier Laurent, “Photographing Flint’s Water Crisis From the Inside”, Time Lightbox Behind the Photos, Jan. 21, 2016.