Around the world, particularly in the United States, conversations have sparked demonstrations tasked with shedding a light on the social and racial inequities that exist after the recent high-profile killings of African-Americans. Add elements of a global coronavirus pandemic that has decimated the economy and exposed deficits in the health care system and you suddenly have a picture of the world seeming falling apart at the seams.
As Cedella Marley sees it, if her reggae icon father Bob Marley was still alive today, he would not have sat by idle in the face of these injustices.
“My father was the voice for the voiceless,” Marley told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. “If he were still here, he would be on the forefronts protesting; he would still be speaking up for those who aren’t being heard.”
This year (February 6) marked what would have been the reggae pioneer’s 75th birthday, who died at the age of 36 after battling cancer. For his family, 2020 has been all about celebrating his legacy.
“What we didn’t anticipate was a pandemic, and such global devastation and social unrest, so it was crucial for us to use our platform and partnerships for the greater good in helping lift others more than ever, not just with his music and message, but with real concrete actions, too,” Marley shared.
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Part of the celebration includes ways in which her father’s lyrical vision and iconography is still being used to spread peace and love in today’s chaotic world. Wrangler announced this week the launch of their Bob Marley Collection which includes 11 classic Wrangler pieces for both men and women displaying Marley’s image and in the traditional colors of Jamaica. As part of the new collaboration, the apparel company is also making a $25,000 donation to the Bob Marley Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to social change through education, culture and community development.
Earlier this month, Bob Marley’s family partnered with UNICEF to reimagine his iconic anthem “One Love,” which was originally released in 1977. Their goal is to help raise support for the organization’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
“Dad wanted people to come together and have a world where people were unified and not divided,” Cedella told Rolling Stone. “He would have been frustrated that something like COVID-19, that should have brought us closer, exposed many other pandemics — a cultural pandemic, a race pandemic [and] a gender pandemic.”
“Daddy was for the people,” she continued, “and his message continues to transcend ages, generations, race and gender, because what he spoke was the truth. He wanted a world that sees no boundaries, no hierarchy, no division. [It’s] something we all still strive towards and hope for some day.”
Photo of Bob Marley. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images