Oprah Winfrey dedicates magazine cover to Breonna Taylor — what you need to know

31 July 2020 - 20:05 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Oprah Winfrey has dedicated her magazine cover to Breonna Taylor who was killed by police in March.
Oprah Winfrey has dedicated her magazine cover to Breonna Taylor who was killed by police in March.
Image: Instagram/Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey has paid a tribute to Breonna Taylor. The media mogul gave up her 'O-Magazine' cover for the first time in 20 years.

In a statement, Oprah shared that she is in possession of property ledgers from plantations where black people were enslaved and sold. She said the death of Breonna reminded her of America's historic refusal to acknowledge black lives.

“I feel a kinship. 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 names of black women who were killed by police. Breonna Taylor and too many others like her. I feel the connection down generations, the refusal to value black women's lives.”

This is what you need to know about Breonna:

Who was she?

The 26-year-old medical technician was among the Covid-19 front line workers. She was killed by police at her home in Louisville on March 13.

According to New York Times, she was with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when police, knocked on their door. Walker fired a gun shot on the ground during a heated exchange and police fired back, hitting Breonna.

Police were investigating a drug syndicate and had been granted a warrant to search her apartment as they believed the man used her apartment to hide the drugs and money. The warrant was a “no-knock-warrant” which allowed them to enter without identifying themselves as police.

Celebs who have spoken up

E! News reported that activists and celebrities including John Legend, Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande have publicly demanded justice for Breonna. John said Americans must not only offer support to her family, but they must relentlessly fight against injustice and police brutality.

Ariana Grande tweeted on what would have been her 27th birthday: “We're fighting for you to demand justice for her and her family.”

Her impact 

Washington Post reported that Louisville city council signed into law “Breonna's law” which prohibits local authorities from carrying the “no-knock” search warrant. The 26 presiding officers voted that police officers must wear body cameras when serving warrants.

The publication reports that the officers involved in Breonna's murder did not wear cameras during their search.

Her mother told the press conference that her daughter was passionate about saving lives and that the new law will see her continue to do that.