Oprah Winfrey features Breonna Taylor on O magazine cover, its first without the industry icon in two decades

Winfrey and the team started to discuss how the brand could raise awareness about police brutality against Black Americans in light of the death of George Floyd


                            Oprah Winfrey features Breonna Taylor on O magazine cover, its first without the industry icon in two decades
(Getty Images)

For the first time in two decades, Oprah Winfrey won't be gracing the cover of her monthly magazine 'O, The Oprah Magazine'. Instead of Oprah, Breonna Taylor will be taking over the cover in an issue that focuses on anti-racism and white privilege. The issue of the magazine is said to hit the newsstands on August 11. 

The editor in chief of 'O, The Oprah Magazine' Lucy Kaylin said that Winfrey and the team started to discuss how the brand could raise awareness about police brutality against Black Americans in light of the death of George Floyd, who died after a now ex Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck. With this in mind, Oprah decided to dedicate her magazine to Taylor, a young Black woman who had been fatally shot by authorities who had barged into her home on March 13. 

Oprah Winfrey attends the premiere of OWN's 'David Makes Man' at NeueHouse Hollywood on August 6, 2019, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

The mentioned issue of the magazine will look into systematic racism and it will also include a list of anti-racist actions that readers can take such as Black-owned businesses to support, organizations to donate to and petitions to sign, among other things. 

One of the columns, 'Hard White Truths' features White readers sharing, "When they were most acutely aware of their white privilege — and what, in the wake of thunderous calls for justice, they are doing to dismantle the status quo." Oprah's column titled 'What I Know For Sure' reads, "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."

She continued, "As a great-great-granddaughter of enslaved people, I know that in a different era my name would have been in someone’s ledger. Those ledgers come to mind when I see the names of Black women who were killed by police. Breonna Taylor and too many others like her. I see the names, I think of the ledgers, I feel the connection down the generations: the refusal to value Black women’s lives. And I feel a personal connection. Because I am these women," she continued. 

Louisville Metro Police Department officers shot the 26-year-old emergency medical technician to death after knocking down her apartment door with a battering ram on a no-knock search warrant. 

Holding a picture of Breonna Taylor, protesters march in downtown Brooklyn over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on June 5, 2020, in New York City (Getty Images)

Two suspected drug dealers the police were in pursuit of weren't in her apartment at the time. The cover image of the magazine features a picture of Taylor in front of a yellow background which was created by 24-year-old digital artist Alexis Franklin. "I am so happy to play a small part in this long-overdue, world-changing narrative on racial injustice and police brutality," Oprah shared. 

"The original photo is one Breonna took herself and has been featured in the news many times. Looking at it, I see an innocence, simple but powerful. It was critical for me to retain that," she added. 

Winfrey had also spoken about another surprise which is the announcement of a new show called 'The Oprah Conversation' that will debut on Apple TV+ starting on July 30. 

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