Oprah Winfrey honors Breonna Taylor with September magazine cover

For the first time in the magazine’s two decades of existence, O, The Oprah Magazine will feature someone other than the publication’s titular founder Oprah Winfrey, with slain Breonna Taylor set to grace the cover instead. The issue is set to hit newsstands on August 11.

Taylor was killed while sleeping after police broke down the door while executing a warrant in a drug investigation in her home. Her boyfriend, mistaking officers for intruders, fired his gun and when police returned fire, Taylor was hit at least eight times.

The media mogul has published an essay detailing her reasons for breaking with the magazine’s 20-year-old tradition and putting Taylor instead of herself on the cover.

“I think about Breonna Taylor often,” Winfrey wrote. “She was the same age as the two daughter-girls from my school in South Africa who’ve been quarantining with Stedman and me since March. In all their conversations I feel the promise of possibilities.

“Their whole lives shine with the light of hopefulness. That was taken away from Breonna in such a horrifying manner.”

Breonna Taylor on the September issue of O. ‘If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it,’ Winfrey said. Photograph: Alexis Franklin/O, The Oprah Magazine
Breonna Taylor on the September issue of O. ‘If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it,’ Winfrey said. Photograph: Alexis Franklin/O, The Oprah Magazine

Winfrey went on to paint a picture of Taylor as an ordinary, fun-loving 26-year-old who also wanted the best out of her life.

“Breonna Taylor was 26 years old. Breonna Taylor loved cars and treated her 2019 Dodge Charger like a trusted friend. Breonna Taylor loved chicken any way you could cook it. Breonna Taylor put hot sauce on everything, especially eggs,” Winfrey wrote.

“Breonna Taylor appreciated every kind of music and the dances that went along. Breonna Taylor treated all her friends like besties.

“Breonna Taylor was a force in the life of her 20-year-old sister. Breonna Taylor felt meaning and purpose in her work as an emergency room technician.

“Breonna Taylor was saving to buy a house. Breonna Taylor had plans. Breonna Taylor had dreams. They all died with her the night five bullets shattered her body and her future.”

Silence in the face of injustice, Winfrey wrote, was not an option.

“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. I cry for justice in her name.”

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