Last week, Oprah Winfrey announced that for the first time in her O Magazine’s 20-year history, she would not appear on the cover.
Instead, Winfrey chose to use the September cover as a way to honor the life of Breonna Taylor, who was killed earlier this year by police in her Louisville, Kentucky home.
To continue her efforts in seeking justice for Taylor’s death, Winfrey is setting up billboards around Louisville with Taylor’s cover image.
“Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged,” the billboards each read. Winfrey has teamed up with the social justice organization, Until Freedom, erecting 26 billboards - one for each year of Taylor’s life.
The organization is calling for justice for Taylor’s death, which took place on March 13, when three police officers executing a “no-knock” search warrant forced open her door as she was sleeping. Believing it to be a home invasion, Taylor’s partner (a licensed gun owner) reportedly shot one of the officers in the thigh.
The police blindly returned fire with more than 25 bullets, killing Taylor. Police had carried out the “no-knock” search warrant as they claimed Taylor’s ex-boyfriend was using her address to mail drugs through the post office, however, no drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment.
In the months since, no charges have been made against the officers responsible for Taylor’s death and two of the three officers still have their jobs.
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. I think about Breonna Taylor often. 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 @oprahmagazine. The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon. Head to OprahMag.com for more—and thank you to @alexis_art, a 24-year-old digital artist, who captured the essence of Breonna. The issue will be available wherever you buy or download magazines on 8/11.
A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on Jul 30, 2020 at 5:32am PDT
“What I know for sure: We can’t be silent,” Winfrey wrote when she announced that Taylor would be on the cover of the issue, which also focuses on systemic racism. “We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice,” she continued. “I cry for justice in her name."