Oprah Makes Breonna Taylor The First Non-Oprah Cover In Her Magazine’s History
Oprah Winfrey has given up her magazine cover for the first time in its 20-year history to honour Breonna Taylor.
Breonna, a 26-year-old Black woman who worked as an emergency medical technician, was shot dead by police who stormed into her home in a no-knock raid in Louisville on March 13. The officers responsible have not been arrested or charged.
To help raise awareness for what happened to Breonna and for the injustice faced by so many other Black men and women, the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine will focus on anti-racism and White privilege.
Instead of a picture of Oprah, as is the norm for the publication, the cover will feature an image of Breonna created by Alexis Franklin, a self-trained 24-year-old digital artist.
Oprah explained the decision in a release on the Oprah Magazine website, stating that Breonna was the same age as the two women from her school in South Africa who have been quarantining with her since March.
The television host continued:
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…
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 special issue, which will be available on newsstands on August 11, examines systemic racism and includes lists of anti-racist actions readers can take, noting which Black-owned businesses they can support, organisations they can donate to, petitions they can sign, and articles they can read.
One column, titled ‘Hard White Truths’, sees White readers share ‘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,’ USA Today reports.
Oprah explained she spoke to Breonna’s mother, Tamika Palmer, about her daughter’s death, and recalled how Tamika was ‘still waiting for [Breonna] to come through the door’.
The mother expressed her disbelief at the lack of action taken against the officers involved in her daughter’s killing, saying:
The fact that no one has been charged. It was so reckless. They did all of this for nothing, and she lost her life.
Digital artist Alexis felt the image of Breonna used on the cover is one of ‘simple but powerful’ innocence, adding it was ‘critical’ for her to retain that depiction in her recreation of the photo.
Calls for justice for Breonna continue on social media and in ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, with people across the globe demanding the officers involved be seriously reprimanded for their actions.
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