For the first time in the publication's 20-year history, O Magazine will not feature Oprah Winfrey on its cover. Instead, the September issue's cover will pay tribute to Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by police in March.
Winfrey posted the cover, created by digital artist Alexis Franklin, on Twitter and Instagram. "She was just like me," Winfrey said. "She was just like you." She continued, "What I know for sure: We can't be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice."
In an interview with O Magazine, Franklin added, "I am so happy to play a small part in this long-overdue, world-changing narrative on racial injustice and police brutality. 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."
To go along with the cover, Winfrey's latest column is advocating for readers to "continue the fight" for Taylor. In the column, she lists calls to action like signing a Change.org petition to demand justice, calling elected officials, donating to the Louisville Community Bail Fund and using the hashtag #SayHerName on social media.
On March 13, Breonna Taylor was shot eight times when police officers from Louisville, Kentucky, broke down her apartment door executing a nighttime warrant in a narcotics investigation. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, survived the shooting. One of the three officers involved in the shooting was fired, but none of them have been charged or arrested.
#BreonnaTaylor for our September cover. https://t.co/yyulcONtgv
"We know how Breonna died," Winfrey wrote in her column. "March 13. Louisville police storming into her apartment in the middle of the night. No uniforms. No 'This is the police!' Terrifying Breonna and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker."
Other celebrities like Winfrey have been using their platforms to keep Taylor's name in conversation, as well as calling for the arrest of the officers behind her death.
However, the editorial decision to put Taylor on the cover of O Magazine is a huge deal, as the edition will be the second to last monthly print edition. After the December print issue, the magazine will move to a more digital focus, with the website being its first priority.