Breonna Taylor Featured On 'O Magazine's' First Cover Without Oprah

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
O Magazine

This is the first time in its 20-year history the cover will not feature Oprah herself

For the first time in its history, Oprah Winfrey’s “O Magazine” cover will feature someone other than Winfrey herself. This September’s cover will be dedicated to the life and tragic death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot and killed by police officers during a no-knock warrant while she slept in her home.

Winfrey shared a copy of the cover with fans on Instagram which showed the issue featuring Taylor’s image and included next to it a quote from her that reads: “If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it,” along with “HER LIFE MATTERS.” Winfrey said of the cover in part, “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.”

On O’s official website she gave more detail into her desire to continue telling Taylor’s story. “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,” Winfrey wrote. “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.”

Included in the issue will be the “89 names from the African American Policy Forum’s #SayHerName campaign,” which reminds the public of the powerful Black women we’ve lost to police brutality. “The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram.

Winfrey spends a lot of time concentrating not just on Taylor’s preventable death at only 26 years old, but her life as well. “Breonna Taylor loved cars and treated her 2019 Dodge Charger like a trusted friend. Breonna Taylor loved chicken any way you could cook it,” Winfrey wrote. “Breonna Taylor put hot sauce on everything, especially eggs. Breonna Taylor appreciated every kind of music and the dances that went along. Breonna Taylor treated all her friends like besties.”

Winfrey also spoke with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, who is fighting for justice while also mourning her daughter’s death. “I’m still waiting for her to come through the door,” Palmer said.

“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,” Winfrey wrote. “Breonna Taylor had dreams. They all died with her the night five bullets shattered her body and her future.”

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