For the first time in 20 years, Oprah Winfrey will not be gracing the cover of her monthly magazine,"O, The Oprah Magazine." Instead, Breonna Taylor will take over the cover in an issue focused on anti-racism and white privilege.
The September issue will be available on newsstands on Aug. 11.
In a statement provided by Carrie Carlson, Hearst Magazines public relations director, Winfrey and the O team began discussions about how the brand could raise awareness about police brutality against Black Americans following the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.
And that's why she's dedicating her magazine to Taylor, the young Black woman who was fatally shot by police who stormed into her Louisville home on March 13.
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The special issue examines systematic racism and includes lists of anti-racist actions readers can take, such as which Black-owned businesses they can support, organizations they can donate to, petitions they can sign, articles they can read and more, the release states.
In one column, "Hard White Truths," white readers share "when they were most acutely aware of their white privilege—and what, in the wake of thunderous calls for justice, they are doing to dismantle the status quo."
In Winfrey's column "What I Know For Sure," she writes, "We can't be slient."
"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.”
She continued: “As a great-great-granddaughter of enslaved people, I know that in a different era my name would have been in someone’s ledger. Those ledgers come to mind when I see the names of Black women who were killed by police. Breonna Taylor and too many others like her. I see the names, I think of the ledgers, I feel the connection down the generations: the refusal to value Black women’s lives. And I feel a personal connection. Because I am these women."
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The cover image, which features a photo of Taylor in front of a yellow background, was created by Alexis Franklin, a self-trained 24-year-old digital artist.
“I am so happy to play a small part in this long-overdue, world-changing narrative on racial injustice and police brutality," she said. "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.”
The news comes after the magazine's recent decision to move to a more "digitally-centric" platform.
In a statement to USA TODAY Monday, a representative the magazine's publisher said while the brand is here to stay, it is rethinking its print editions. There will still be monthly print editions through December 2020, but the future for its print publications remains unclear.
Winfrey did offer another surprise, though: a new show, "The Oprah Conversation" will debut exclusively on Apple TV+ for free beginning July 30.
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