Breonna Taylor makes history by appearing on the September 2020 cover of Oprah Winfrey’s O, The Oprah Magazine.
On Thursday, the star of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” announced that a painting of Taylor — a 26-year-old Black EMT who was killed March 13 by white police officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove — will grace the cover of her iconic magazine.
“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,” the media mogul wrote for her “What I Know for Sure” column.
The cover — drawn by Dallas-based artist Alexis Franklin — marks the first time in O’s 20-year history that Winfrey does not appear on the front of the issue.
In her piece, Winfrey said she recently spoke with Taylor’s mom Tamika Palmer about her grief.
“She was having a particularly bad day dealing with the loss and the grief of knowing that her daughter is gone forever,” Winfrey wrote. “Those of you who’ve lost loved ones know that the pain comes in waves and that any little thing can trigger it. A song. A scent. A word. A thought. The day I called, Ms. Palmer was dealing with the emotion of it all. She told me, “I can’t stop seeing her face. Her smile. It’s what I miss most about her. I still can’t grasp the concept of her being gone. It feels so surreal. I’m still waiting for her to come through the door.’”
Though Hankison was fired last month, none of the three police officers, as of this writing, have been charged or arrested for Taylor’s killing.
“What Ms. Palmer cannot understand is this: ‘The fact that no one has been charged. It was so reckless. They did all of this for nothing, and she lost her life,’” Winfrey recounted.
“What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice,” she concluded. “And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine. I cry for justice in her name.”
Earlier this week, O announced it will be discontinuing its regular monthly print editions after the December 2020 issue.
A spokesperson from publisher Hearst said the magazine will be “more digitally-centric.” While there will be “some form of print” after the December issue, “what it is exactly is still being worked out.”