It’s been four months since 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot at home by Louisville police executing a no-knock search warrant. And as if the incident wasn’t tragic enough, there has since been no legal action towards the officers responsible.
The death of Breonna Taylor is an example of police brutality towards Black persons of colour, and has been a focal point during the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests across the world (spurred by the despicable death of George Floyd).
And so in honour of Breonna Taylor, her portrait will appear on the September cover of O Magazine – a first in the print publications 20-year tenure (Oprah has been on every single cover herself since its inception).
To accompany the portrait Oprah, who is also a woman of colour, released a thought-provoking essay. See an excerpt below:
“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.
Not long ago, I spoke with Breonna’s mother, Tamika Palmer. She was having a particularly bad day dealing with the loss and the grief of knowing that her daughter is gone forever. 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.”
The actual artwork was commissioned by 24-year-old digital artist Alexis Franklin, who based the portrait on a widely shared photo Taylor took of herself.
The cover actually comes after news broke that as of December 2020, O Magazine will cease publishing.