Oprah Winfrey has penned a powerful column demanding justice for Breonna Taylor and honoring her memory in the September edition of O, the Oprah Magazine, which features Taylor on the cover.
On Thursday, O published Winfrey’s essay explaining the decision not to feature Winfrey on the cover of her magazine for the first time in 20 years. The moving piece also quotes Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, as she continues to seek consequences for the police officers involved in her daughter’s shooting.
“I think about Breonna Taylor often,” Winfrey wrote. “She was the same age as the two daughter-girls from my school in South Africa who’ve been quarantining with Stedman and me since March. In all their conversations I feel the promise of possibilities.”
“Their whole lives shine with the light of hopefulness. That was taken away from Breonna in such a horrifying manner.”
Winfrey is one of several entertainment luminaries — including Beyoncé, Solange, Gabrielle Union, Lena Waithe, Kerry Washington and many more — who have used their elevated platforms to call for action after Taylor was shot and killed in her apartment by officers using a “no-knock” search warrant.
No-knock warrants have since been banned in Taylor’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, but the officers involved in her shooting — Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — have not been arrested.
“The fact that no one has been charged. It was so reckless,” Palmer is quoted in O. “They did all of this for nothing, and she lost her life.”
Winfrey’s column also noted that only one of the three cops, Hankison, has been fired from the police force in the wake of Taylor’s killing.
“Breonna Taylor was 26 years old. Breonna Taylor loved cars and treated her 2019 Dodge Charger like a trusted friend. Breonna Taylor loved chicken any way you could cook it. Breonna Taylor put hot sauce on everything, especially eggs,” Winfrey wrote. “Breonna Taylor appreciated every kind of music and the dances that went along. Breonna Taylor treated all her friends like besties.
“Breonna Taylor was a force in the life of her 20-year-old sister. Breonna Taylor felt meaning and purpose in her work as an emergency room technician. Breonna Taylor was saving to buy a house. Breonna Taylor had plans. Breonna Taylor had dreams. They all died with her the night five bullets shattered her body and her future.”
In addition to Winfrey’s remarks, the September issue of O includes a profile of self-trained 24-year-old digital artist Alexis Franklin, who reimagined the “simple but powerful” selfie photo of Taylor for the publication’s historic cover to “play a small part in this long-overdue, world-changing narrative on racial injustice and police brutality.”
“What I know for sure: We can’t be silent,” Winfrey continued in her essay. “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.”
Founded in April 2000, O magazine announced earlier this week that it will ditch its print edition and go all-digital after December.
(Article written by Christi Carras)