O magazine has been on newsstands for twenty years. Each and every magazine, it is Oprah Winfrey herself that is featured on its cover. This month, however, Oprah is not on the cover. This month, the late Breonna Taylor is on the cover. The historical issue, which is out on August 11, Taylor’s face — a digital portrait artist Alexis Franklin — is on Oprah’s O September magazine edition.
Oprah wrote in a powerful essay why she chose to have Taylor on the magazine cover.
“Breonna Taylor,” she writes. “She was just like me. She was just like you. “What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine.”
The idea to put Taylor on the cover of the magazine wasn’t Oprah’s. It was Deirdre Read, the magazine’s visual research editor, who thought the story of Taylor should be featured on its cover, while also spotlighting the fact that not one police officer has been charged in the killing of Taylor.
“I brought the idea to Oprah, who immediately said ‘YES,'” Lucy Kaylin, the editor in chief of O, told the New York Times.
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Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of @oprahmagazine. The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon. Head to OprahMag.com for more—and thank you to @alexis_art, a 24-year-old digital artist, who captured the essence of Breonna. The issue will be available wherever you buy or download magazines on 8/11.
Oprah added, “As our nation confronts the abhorrent reality of police brutality against Black Americans, one thing is incumbent upon us all: to bear witness. With this month’s cover, we pay tribute to 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, fatally shot by police who stormed into her Louisville home on March 13.”
TMZ is reporting that Oprah spoke to Taylor’s mom on the phone about the historic issue
“Our sources say Tamika was “in complete awe” of Oprah’s gesture — calling it an unbelievable moment — and of course, she’s honored O’s doing something she’s never done before as a tribute to Breonna.”
While celebrities and people alike have signed petitions demanding the arrest of the police involved in the death of Taylor, their defense attorney said her clients should not be charged with murder.
“It is unfortunate that this young lady was killed,” said Aubrey Williams, a former president of Louisville’s NAACP chapter, “But for the life of me I don’t see them indicting or convicting.”