It has been approximately 150 days since Breonna Taylor was brutally murdered in her home by Louisville police. Despite the protests and petitions, no actions have been taken to arrest Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison.
Oprah Winfrey has decided to use her platform to bring awareness to the untimely death of Breonna Taylor. The September issue of O – The Oprah Magazine will pay tribute to Breonna by featuring her on the cover. In Oprah’s What I Know For Sure Column, she speaks candidly about the decision to honor Breonna’s memory on the cover of O. “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.” This will be the first time in 20 years that Oprah forgoes being on the cover of O.
While the world is fully aware of how unjust the Breonna Taylor story is, the men who fatally took her life have yet to be arrested and sentenced. In a statement, Oprah said, “As I write this, in early July, just one of the three officers involved has been dismissed from the police force. This officer blindly fired ten rounds from his gun, some of which went into the adjoining apartment. The other two officers still have their jobs. What Ms. Palmer (Breonna’s mother) cannot understand is this: “The fact that no one has been charged. It was so reckless. They did all of this for nothing, and she lost her life.”
Raising awareness on Breonna Taylor’s death is important for a variety of reasons. The lack of protection of Black women has been brought to the forefront. Breonna’s death was quietly swept under the rug until social media learned about her story. Like most of us, Oprah felt a personal connection to this case.
“I have a collection of property ledgers from former plantations. Names, ages, and prices of people, listed along with cattle, shoes, wagons, and all other earthly possessions. The ledgers are framed in my library. When in need of fortification in times of crisis or challenge, and sometimes just to remind myself where I’ve come from, I read them aloud. I feel a kinship,” Oprah said. “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. These women are me,” she continued.
Breonna Taylor’s life was cut short at the hands of officers who irresponsibly entered her home and killed her while she slept. She will not be able to achieve the personal goals she set for herself.
“Breonna Taylor had plans. Breonna Taylor had dreams. They all died with her the night five bullets shattered her body and her future. I think about Breonna Taylor often. 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. Their whole lives shine with the light of hopefulness. That was taken away from Breonna in such a horrifying manner. 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.”
The sad truth is that Breonna Taylor could be any of us. In fact, she is all of us. Her death is personal to a lot of us because we can easily see ourselves in her shoes. Sleeping after a long day of work is not a crime. Using excessive force and taking someone’s life is a crime, yet we are still demanding justice. It is important for us to hold all parties accountable in the death of Breonna Taylor.
Be sure to check out the September issue of O Magazine.
Oprah Passes On September Cover To Pay Tribute To Breonna Taylor was originally published on hellobeautiful.com