Oprah Winfrey has stepped back from the cover of her signature magazine for the first time in its 20-year history to pay tribute to Breonna Taylor.

The media mogul has appeared as the cover subject of O, The Oprah Magazine for the entirety of its two-decade history, but has given up the cover of the latest issue to honour Taylor, who was fatally shot by police when they stormed her Louisville, Kentucky home on 13 March.

The latest cover features a portrait of the 26-year-old, her birth date, the date she died and the words "Her life matters". Besides the portrait, there is a quote from Oprah, which reads: "If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it".

In a lengthy column explaining her decision, Oprah stated that she refused to stay silent about the fact that only one of the three police officers involved in the shooting has been dismissed from the police force.

"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 (partner) Stedman (Graham) 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.

"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."

Although she died in March, Taylor only became a key figure in the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests against systematic racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd in May.

Earlier this week, Oprah announced she was closing the print edition of the magazine with one final publication in December.

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