Lauryn Hill spoke up after her daughter Selah Marley publicly addressed her childhood trauma in their household on Instagram Live last Monday (Aug. 10).
In the since-deleted IGTV video, the 20-year-old model detailed the dual long-term effects of her father, Rohan Marley, not being around a lot as well as her mother Hill physically disciplining her and her siblings. But Marley posted a follow-up clip titled “clarity” the next day to set the record straight to her 165,000 Instagram followers that she spoke from a personal “place of healing” and did not intend for viewers to contact her parents with hateful comments.
Last Thursday (Aug. 13), the Grammy-winning artist addressed her daughter’s statements and the subsequent backlash she experienced.
“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. The discipline was seen through the lens of a young child who also had no place to reconcile me as mom, and me as a larger than life public figure…. If I am guilty of anything it is disciplining in anger, not in disciplining,” she wrote in an eight-slide Instagram gallery. “The toxic venom I ingested for standing on principle, and confronting systemic racism far BEFORE it was the thing to say or do (everything you NOW celebrate everyone for!)–the people who called me CRAZY and have yet to apologize and say ‘oh yeah, we were wrong’, OF COURSE that seeped into my home, it was intended to.”The “Doo Wop (That Thing)” singer later opened up about the “incredibly hypocritical and unfair” pressure she endured while being an artist “way ahead of her time” and its bleak effects on her family life because no one could escape the public eye.
“Keeping a child sober minded in the midst of everyone trying to seduce and bribe and coerce is an incredibly challenging thing to do,” she explained in the lengthy note. “Sell a few million copies of a recording and see the wolves and sharks for yourself before you determine what’s appropriate and what’s not. The danger was REAL!… My life has been about protecting my children from all kinds of danger, and that’s only possible when you protect yourself from the danger as well.”
She continued: “Selah is on a road to healing and contextualizing her childhood, and is allowed her process, but if you come for me, come for your own mama, and those absent fathers–come for them too, your grandparents, your great grand parents, your great great grand parents, Caribbean parents, African parents and everyone else damaged and judged for being black and forced to conform and assimilate to western standards of ‘order’ shaped through the filter and lens of anti-blackness.”
The Fugees rapper described Selah and her five other children — 23-year-old son Zion, 18-year-old son Joshua, 17-year-old son John, and 12-year-old daughter Sarah Marley and 9-year-old son Micah Hill — as “strong-willed and powerful” for navigating through a dangerous world that has publicly attacked them for speaking out against issues while being Black.
In her separate penultimate Instagram post, she mentioned musical luminaries gone too soon — Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, Prince, Michael Jackson, Sam Cooke, Kurt Cobain, Marvin Gaye, Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur, Nipsey Hussle, Juice WRLD, Pop Smoke, and Lil Peep — as examples of how money and fame do more harm than good. “Sometimes fame and money amplify not only problems but can magnify the darkest and most cruel and selfish qualities in humans,” she noted. “Sometimes being successful at something is like walking around with a bullseye on your back and your children’s backs.”And in her final 10-slide Instagram message, Hill shared a poignant movie list, including The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, for her followers to watch for context as to how she was “being gaslighted PUBLICLY for standing up to the system” and how she battled the “nastiness” of the world to protect her children.
“I am remorseful for dealing with any of my children in anger, and I’m sorry any of them had to go through that. What I am illustrating is that we were all thrown into a very dangerous situation, and I did my best to get us out of it with as little trauma as possible,” she stated. “The entire experience was traumatic for ALL of us, we were all traumatized, and I am telling you that traumatizing US was done on purpose with the intent to harm us.”
Hill also mentioned she and Selah have continuously sought out the right kind of therapy for themselves, individually. But for the 45-year-old icon, she listed the roles of “master psychologist, provider, protector and warrior” she was forced to take on while raising her young children at the height of her fame. And that fame itself, she explained, came with “invisible ink” on recording contracts that also labeled her as “a star… a scape goat or a door mat or a kicking post for people” that she didn’t agree to. But while adopting previous methods of protection that she experienced at the hands of her own parents, Hill unloaded her current reflections on physical discipline that had her name in headlines last week following Selah’s open and honest reflection of the trauma she experienced as a child
“Let’s be clear, I do not think that physical discipline is the solve. I was physically disciplined by parents who interpreted the Bible literally and did what their parents did, thinking that it was the best thing for me. I had to find something new, but before I could find that new tool, I used the old tool, and found it ineffective for my children…,” she continued. “I also agree that physical discipline of the black variety is absolutely a throw back of slavery and it’s need to terroristically control black people.”
Read Hill’s entire social media statements below.
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