Bob Marley’s granddaughter and Lauryn Hill’s daughter Selah Marley’s participation in Kanye West’s White Lives Matter runway show has sparked shock and disappointment by many.
On Monday, Selah Marley was spotted sharing a laugh with Kanye and wearing his controversial “White Lives Matter” shirt in Paris. The shirts and Ye’s comments have drawn backlash across the United States and other countries, which viewed it as a racist trope that neglects the tribulations of African Americans and seeks to commercialize and make money from the racist division in America.
In reaction, thousands of people shared disappointment that Selah walked the runway for Kanye West’s Season 9 Yeezy Fashion Show and disrespected her very heritage from her grandfather Bob Marley who bravely used music to speak against racism and apartheid hate.
Selah shared a video on her Instagram Story where she is seen talking to Kanye West while wearing one of the shirts with the WLM statement emblazoned on the back.
“Love u sm @KanyeWest,” she captioned the video. “why I hit twin in the face like that,” she joked, referring to Kanye as her twin. “Uncle ye,” she said in another post with a heart emoji.
Her camaraderie with Kanye Marley was, however, not received well as many called her out for joining in Kanye’s disrespect of the Black Lives Matter movement that has been advocating for fairness and equality and against police brutality, racial profiling, and other human rights breaches particularly the wave of police killings over the last three years.
Kanye West and Selah Marley
Selah Marley is the daughter of Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley, the son of Bob Marley. Her joining the Yeezy campaign was called into question as many called for guidance for the 23-year-old whose parents come from a rich heritage of Afrocentrism that fights for the black race.
In a rare interview with Rolling Stone in 2021, Lauren Hill spoke about intending her biggest album, ‘Miseducation of Lauren Hill,’ released in 1998, to be a continuation of her ancestor’s struggles for their peoples.
“I think my intention was simply to make something that made my foremothers and forefathers in music and social and political struggle know that someone received what they’d sacrificed to give us…at the time I felt like it was a duty and responsibility to do so. I saw the economic and educational gaps in black communities,” she said as she offered that she used herself, even though she was very young, to help bridge gaps to help her people.
On social media, many were not pleased that Selah joined Yeezy’s campaign, although she is a supermodel who appears to have a standing contract with Yeezy.
“I absolutely expect this from Kanye but Selah Marley has disgraced the name and memory of her grandfather Bob Marley and everything her mother stands for. He was the world’s Black freedom fighter. If you don’t know her mother is the legendary Lauryn Hill,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“Just two years ago Selah Marley a$$ was marching in them streets dodging bullets and choking on smoke grenades for George Floyd. Now she and putting on a “White Lives Matter” shirts for Kanye west. I know Bob Marley flipping in his grave,” another person wrote.
Others, however, mused that Selah’s decision might have been calculated to hurt her mother, whom she once accused of abuse when she was a child.
“It’s annoying cuz Jaden Smith literally left the show, but meanwhile Selah Marley. But she and Lauryn Hill’s relationship is Complicated so maybe she wanted to piss off her mom lol,” someone wrote on Twitter.
“The Miseducation of Selah Marley,” another wrote.
“I’m accustomed to Kanye being nothing other than what he’s repeatedly shown us to be, but what too many refuse to accept. One of the more painful parts for me is Selah Marley,” another said.
Lauren Hill has not responded to the shock and disappointment in Selah’s decision to model the offensive shirt.
In 2020, she responded to claims by her daughter that she was abused as a child. In an Instagram post, Selah alleged that growing up. Her father played an absent role while her mother was abusive. However, Ms. Hill later explained that she disciplined her child to protect her from the potential terrors of the Hollywood life that fame and riches brought.
“Uhhhh black people, what??? Selah has every right to express herself, I encourage it, but she also got the discipline that black children get because we are held to a different standard,” Hill said.