Oprah Winfrey Magazine’s First Cover Not to Feature Oprah Will Feature Breonna Taylor

For the first time in 20 years, Oprah Winfrey will not be on the cover of her monthly magazine,“O, Oprah’s magazine.” Instead, Breonna Taylor will take the cover of an issue focused on anti-racism and white privilege.

The September issue hits newsstands August 11.

In a statement provided by Carrie Carlson, director of public relations for Hearst Magazines, Winfrey and the O team began discussions on how the brand could raise awareness about police brutality against black Americans following the death of George Floydthe 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 burst into her Louisville home on March 13.

The special issue examines systematic racism and includes lists of anti-racist actions readers can take in, such as black-owned businesses they can support, organizations they can donate to, petitions they can sign, articles they can read and more, the statement said.

In one column, “Hard White Truths,” white readers share “when they were most aware of their white privilege — and what they are doing, in the wake of thunderous calls for justice, to dismantle the status quo” .

In Winfrey’s Column “What I Know For Certain” she writes: “We cannot be silent.”

“We must use any megaphone to demand justice. And that’s why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine.”

She continued: “As the great-great-granddaughter of slaves, I know that in another time my name would have been on someone’s ledger. These records come to mind when I see the names of black women killed by the police. Breonna Taylor and too many others like her. I see the names, I think of the registers, I feel the connection between the generations: the refusal to value the lives of black women. And I feel a personal connection. Because I am those women.

The cover image, which features a photo of Taylor in front of a yellow background, was created by Alexis Franklina 24-year-old self-taught digital artist.

“I’m so happy to play a small part in this long-awaited, world-changing tale of racial injustice and police brutality,” she said. “The original photo is one that Breonna took herself and has repeatedly made headlines. Looking at it, I see an innocence, simple yet powerful. Maintaining that was essential for me.

The news comes after the magazine’s recent decision to move to a more “digital-centric” platform.

In a statement to USA TODAY on Monday, a representative for the magazine’s publisher said that while the brand is here to stay, it is redesigning its print editions. There will still be monthly print editions through December 2020, but the future of its print publications remains uncertain.

Winfrey did, however, offer another surprise: a new show, “The Oprah Conversation,” will debut exclusively on Apple TV+ for free starting July 30.

Amanda P. Whitten