Why Oprah gave up her magazine cover for first time ever to honour Breonna Taylor

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Friday 31 July 2020 10:30
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(Getty/O Magazine)

For the first time in the history of Oprah’s O Magazine, the woman herself has not appeared on the cover of the latest issue.

That’s 20 years of O Magazine tradition broken.

But it’s for a very important reason: paying tribute to murdered Black woman Breonna Taylor.

In a powerful statement, an illustrated portrait of Taylor appears as the cover holding shot for the August issue of O Magazine.

Taylor’s picture is accompanied by a subhead reading:

Born June 5 1993. 

Killed by police March 13 2020.

In bold text, a further heading also reads: ‘HER LIFE MATTERS’.

Oprah has added a personal note to the cover as well, writing:

If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it.

The quote is signed off with the multi-hyphenate’s signature.

A campaign to seek justice for Breonna Taylor’s murder ramped up this week as protestors voiced further frustration at the fact the police involved in the shooting of the unarmed 26 year-old as she slept, still faced no charges for the killing.

Only one officer has been fired for his role in Taylor’s murder; the other two still retain their jobs.

Oprah also further explained her choice to posthumously honour Taylor in a post on Twitter in an emotional post, writing:

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.

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 O magazine. I cry for justice in her name.

It's a pretty big moment.

And Oprah’s gesture has been well received for its part in keeping up momentum for the campaign.

The cover was deemed “historical”.

Others said the gesture made them “tear up”.

It was deemed ‘amazing’.

And people pledged to keep demanding justice for Taylor.

Sign the petition here.

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