Fierce

Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor With Historic O Magazine Cover

In the twenty years since Oprah Winfrey established her periodical publication O Magazine, only she has ever graced the cover. For the first time in the magazine’s publication, a different face is now featured and it’s one we hope you continue to remember: Breonna Taylor.

The  26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician was murdered in the middle of the night on March 13 after being fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. While initially, her death sparked outrage, it wasn’t until a few months later that the murder of George Floyd (a Black man also killed by the police) that a national reaction came about. The slow national reaction to her death and the demands for answers from her loved one’s ultimately initiated conversations about the care and concern offered to Black women in the United States and reminded those watching of how much work needs to be done to support them. And while the initial blast of the May BLM protests has waned, it appears Winfrey is determined to keep the fire going.

In a post about this month’s issue, Oprah reminded users we can’t be silent.

In an essay published on the O magazine site, Winfrey described the ways in which she felt she identified with Taylor. She also shared her own vision for helping honor Taylor’s life and the dreams the deceased 26-year-old had for herself.

“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,” Winfrey wrote. “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. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice.

O magazine’s cover features a portrait of Taylor, created byAlexis Franklin.

The digital artist created the image from a selfie Taylor took while wearing her EMS shirt. The original selfie has circulated heavily with coverage on Taylor’s death. On the magazine cover, the words “Her life mattered” are written next to Taylor’s face.

According to an essay written by Franklin for O magazine, the young artist was inspired by Taylor’s power in the image. “Looking at [the source photo], I see an innocence, simple but powerful. It was critical for me to retain that,” she wrote. “And there was a sparkle in Breonna’s eyes — a young Black woman posing in her Louisville EMS shirt, happy to be alive.”

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Protests Erupt In Brazil After Black Man Is Killed By Grocery Store Security Guards

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Protests Erupt In Brazil After Black Man Is Killed By Grocery Store Security Guards

Luis Alvarenga / Getty Images

Protests erupted around Brazil after a Black man was beaten to death by security guards. The man was attacked by grocery security guards on Nov. 19 and died from being choked. The protests echoed the call for racial justice heard in the U.S. after George Floyd’s death.

A disturbing video on social media showing a Black man being attacked by security guards sparked outrage in Brazil.

Video shows two security guards at a Carrefour violently attacking a man. The video is of 40-year-old welder João Alberto Silveira Freitas who died from the attack. His death has sparked protests throughout Brazil calling for racial justice. Protests popped up in front of Carrefour locations across the country calling for justice.

The timing of Silveira Freitas’ death heightened anger.

Silveira Freitas was attacked on the day before Brazil’s Black Awareness Day. The day, called Dia da Consciência Negra, is a day dedicated to honoring the Black community and their contributions. Originally, the Dia da Consciência Negra was celebrated on March 13 to coincide with the abolishment of slavery in Brazil. It was later moved to Nov. 20 to coincide with the death of Zumbi, a beloved Afro-Brazilian figure who fought against slavery in the 1600s.

Some of the protesters have turned their anger towards the French supermarket chain.

“Murderous Carrefour” was seen drawn on protest signs that popped up around the country. A Carrefour in Porto Alegre was attacked by demonstrators. The CEO of Carrefour tweeted in Portuguese condemning the actions of the security guards. He also said that the company is ending its contract with the security company.

People around the world are offering their support in the fight for racial justice in Brazil.

There has been renewed and amplified in recent months. The viral videos of unarmed Black people being killed by police has exposed the crisis in the Black community. Covid lockdowns and restrictions have given those videos a great audience and a more intense spotlight.

READ: Sasha and Malia Obama Participated in Black Lives Matter Protests Over the Summer, According to Their Dad

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A Black Student From Louisiana State Accused Three Police Offers Of Unzipping His Pants To ‘Look’ For Drugs

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A Black Student From Louisiana State Accused Three Police Offers Of Unzipping His Pants To ‘Look’ For Drugs

Anadolu Agency / Getty

Abuse of power by police is alive and well in Baton Rouge and in urgent need of being stopped.

Three police officers from the Louisiana capital have been put on paid administrative leave after accusations of harassment were issued by a local Black college football freshman. According to the student, Koy Moore a freshman who plays a wide receiver at Louisiana State University, the three police officers unzipped his pants and confiscated his phone to prevent him from recording the incident.

In a post shared to Twitter on Saturday, Moore claimed that the officers “violated” him in an attempt to search him for drugs and weapons while screaming “Where’s your gun?”

Koy Moore claims that he was violated by three Baton Rouge police officers.

“I was violated numerous times even going as far as trying to unzip my pants in search of a weapon that I repeatedly told them I did not have,” Moore wrote in the post. “As I tried to go live for video documentation of the harassment, they snatched my phone. I could have lost my life, and I know for a fact nothing would’ve happened to the guys who did it.” 

In his post, More questioned what could have actually happened to him if he hadn’t told the officers that he was a student at LSU.

In response to his tweet, LSU faculty and staff have supported him. Ed Orgeron, LSU’s football coach even commented on the incident in a post to Twitter.“While I cannot comment on the investigation, what I can say is that we must work collectively to embrace our differences,” Orgeron he wrote. “We have to listen, learn, and come together to combat social injustice and racism if we are to create a safer and more equitable society for all.”

The official LSU Twitter account retweeted the coach’s post writing that they shared in “the sentiment shared by Coach Ed Orgeron.”

The three officers, who have been placed on paid leave, have yet to be identified to the public. Still, Chief Murphy Paul of the Baton Rouge Police Department said his department had been in contact with Moore and that an investigation is currently underway.

“We appreciate Mr. Moore bringing this incident to our attention,” Paul said in a statement. “As in every case, we will be collecting all available evidence and conducting interviews. Accountability and transparency are critical in building trust with the community. I pledge a thorough investigation into this complaint.”

The incident in Baton Rouge underlines that major issue in modern American politics. 

During the summer, after Breonna Taylor and George Floyd were murdered by police, Baton Rouge took part in the nationwide protests.

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