You won’t find any Hollywood actors on this September’s cover of Vanity Fair. Instead the title has put an illustration of Breonna Taylor by artist Amy Sherald. Editor in chief Radhika Jones invited VF contributing editor Ta-Nehisi Coates to guest edit the issue, which explores art, activism, and power in the 21st century America. The issue features 40 prominent writers, photographers, artists, and activists, including some of the most influential Black voices of our time.
Coates interviewed Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, and tells the story of her life and tragic death. Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier also traveled to Louisville to photograph Taylor’s family and boyfriend holding the engagement ring he was never able to propose with.
“Partnering with Ta-Nehisi under the banner of Vanity Fair has been an honor, though the title ‘guest editor’ is not honorary,” Jones says. “He is the driving force of this body of work, both creator and collaborator…. It was our shared goal to make a magazine that would capture the spirit of this time, and that it would be beautiful, a keepsake. An object to push back against ephemerality. A way to remember, and a sign of things to come.”
A few weeks ago O: The Oprah Magazine revealed Taylor on the cover of their September issue, with an illustration by 24-year-old digital artist Alexis Franklin. It was the first time in O’s 20 year history that Oprah didn’t appear on the cover.
Vanity Fair hits stands on September 1st. O: The Oprah magazine is out now.