Oprah Winfrey has given up the cover spot of O Magazine for the first time ever, and she reportedly made an important phone call before making the stunning move. An insider revealed to TMZ that before moving forward with the historic cover for the iconic magazine, the OWN creator called Breonna’s mother, Tamika Palmer, to get her approval.
According to the insider, Oprah made the call in early June after getting her phone number from the family’s lawyer shortly after O Magazine posted a 27th birthday tribute to Breonna on Instagram. Only Oprah and Tamika were on what was presumably an extremely emotional phone call, TMZ reported.
After the O Magazine founder revealed her plan to give up her usual spot to feature a tribute to Breonna on the magazine’s cover, Tamika was reportedly “in complete awe” of the gesture and called it an “unbelievable” moment.
The 66-year-old former talk show host has appeared on every cover of her famed magazine since its inception in April 2000, but the September 2020 issue will feature a digital art image of Breonna Taylor, the young Black woman killed by Louisville, Kentucky police while she was sleeping in her apartment last March. The shooting came after a “no-knock” warrant was executed by three plainclothes police officers who were thought to be intruders by Breonna’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
The stunning image by 24-yar-old digital artist Alexis Frankin, seen below, was posted on the O Magazine Instagram page along with a tribute written by Oprah herself. The image portrays the late emergency medical technician wearing a Louisville EMS shirt amid a gold background. Breonna’s birth and death dates are listed and the tagline says “Her Life Matters.” The cover also includes a quote about racism from Oprah.
In a caption to the preview, Oprah also wrote that she “[cries] for justice” in Breonna’s name.
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For the first time in 20 years, @oprah has given up her O Magazine cover to honor Breonna Taylor. She says, “Breonna Taylor. 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. 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 O magazine. I cry for justice in her name.” Tap the link in our bio to read more about Oprah’s tribute to Breonna—and her recent conversation with her mother, Tamika Palmer. Breonna: This one’s for you ???????? The September issue will be available wherever you buy or download your magazines on 8/11. (????: @alexis_art)
While the upcoming O Magazine featuring Breonna Taylor is the first time ever that Oprah won’t appear on the cover at all, it is not the first time the media mogul has shared space on her magazine’s front.
In April 2009 Oprah appeared on the cover with First Lady Michelle Obama. Later that year she posed for four different shots with Ellen DeGeneres for the holiday issue following a humorous campaign on DeGeneres’s talk show to score the honor. Additionally, Oprah once shared the spotlight with Rosie O’Donnell. The two women donned red dresses for a “Lights, Cameras, Rosie!” photo to celebrate O’Donnell’s short-lived OWN talk show.