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Oprah honors Breonna Taylor on latest cover of O magazine

Winfrey says she wants to use her position to raise awareness and honor Taylor's life.
/ Source: TODAY

Oprah Winfrey has appeared on the cover of every issue of O, The Oprah Magazine since she created the publication 20 years ago — until now.

When readers pick up a copy of the magazine's September issue, they'll see the face of Breonna Taylor instead.

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In a post on the publication's website, Winfrey, who serves as O's editorial director, explains that she felt compelled to use her platform to feature the 26-year-old, who was shot and killed in March by Kentucky police executing a no-knock search warrant.

"Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. 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," the media mogul wrote.

Winfrey said she thinks about what happened to Taylor often and hopes her story isn't forgotten anytime soon.

"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," she wrote. "Their whole lives shine with the light of hopefulness. That was taken away from Breonna in such a horrifying manner."

Winfrey tapped self-trained, 24-year-old digital artist Alexis Franklin to create a digital portrait inspired by one of Taylor's selfies.

Alexis Franklin, 24, created the cover image of Breonna Taylor, who was 26 when she died in March.Alexis Franklin / O, The Oprah Magazine

“I am so happy to play a small part in this long-overdue, world-changing narrative on racial injustice and police brutality. 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,” Franklin explained on the magazine's website.

Janelle Washington, a Black papercut artist, also created a silhouette image of Taylor featuring 89 names from the African American Policy Forum’s #SayHerName campaign.

Artist Janelle Washington created a papercut silhouette of Breonna Taylor for O, The Oprah Magazine.Janelle Washington

In June, Taylor's mother and sister spoke with TODAY's Sheinelle Jones after the Louisville Metro Council unanimously voted to pass a ban on no-knock warrants.

"Breonna worked to save lives while she was alive and now Breonna’s Law will save lives forever," her mother, Tamika Palmer, said. "I knew she was destined for greatness. She's showing it."

Winfrey joins a growing list of celebrities like Beyoncé who have advocated for justice for Taylor. And the 66-year-old wants to use her voice however she can to help honor Taylor's life.

"What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice," she wrote. "I cry for justice in her name."