Forgotten Homes is a one-track CD released by student interns working with Fresh Camp, a non-profit that helps youth learn how to create socially-messaged shirts and music to give a voice to their ideas and feelings. This particular soundtrack comes with an incredibly important message – a call to action to eradicate the dangers of lead.
The lyrics of Forgotten Homes remind us of the dangers posed by one of the most dangerous materials of today, one that was responsible for the entire Flint fiasco. The 5-minute track features five young men who demand their community to do more to prevent the Cleveland area kids from being poisoned by lead through the use of lead, highlighting the importance of lead replacement and nontoxic high density materials.
The Underlying Issues
Gun violence and lead poisoning – two of the most persistent problems of Cleveland – have been highlighted in the video and the team – whose members spent most of their summer holidays pouring over historic, policy and biological reasons behind the lead poisoning crisis of Cleveland – is also expected to perform several songs at the Ingenuity Fest.
A single vial of lead dust is all it takes to contaminate an entire household, to drastically drop your child’s IQ. Lead poisoning means that your kid is twice as likely to drop out of school, to do poorly in math, to end up in all kinds of trouble. Yet we aren’t taking the issue too seriously, are we? Since lead poisoning isn’t evident unless you get yourself tested, it is like a silent assassin, killing undetected, until it is too late to do anything about it.
Generations of minority kids were allowed to live in deteriorating conditions as racism ran rampant in housing and policy decisions, and this created the perfect conditions for violence, lead poisoning and asthma. The problem isn’t with the kids. The underlying problems lie in the environment, their surroundings.
Solving this long-riding crisis isn’t easy by any means, but with the right lead replacement strategies and use of non-toxic high density materials, there’s no reason why one cannot control and slowly eradicate the issue from their neighborhood and environment.
A New Start
Once 17-year-old Derrick Washington came up with the beats, the lyrics just seemed to flow through. A song was born. A song that could possibly move generations. But it wasn’t just about singing. Fresh Camp is also creating a line of t-shirts and wearable billboards to spread their message. They plan to tour schools around Cleveland to spread the message. They also dream of meeting City Council members.
Most would find it too much to digest, but this lot just turned into a beautiful song. I came from all the forgotten homes, lead fallin' from the windows. Whoever said a song couldn’t move mountains!