We reflect a year later after many protestors rushed the streets of Louisville, shouting for justice, “Say her name. Breonna Taylor.” We lost a 26 year old woman, who’s name we will never forget. Taylor was fatally shot in her Louisville, Kentucky apartment one year ago today. On March 13, 2020, Taylor was hit by six bullets and sadly passed away, where most people feel safest — in her home. Three White plainclothes officers, Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) forced entry into her apartment as part of an investigation into drug dealing operations.
Taylor was asleep in the comfort of her bedroom with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when the officers knocked down the door and forced entry. The officers claimed to have announced themselves as police prior to entering, but Walker says he did not hear any announcement, believed the officers to be intruders, and fired a warning shot toward them. Officials claimed his warning shot hit Officer Mattingly in the leg and the officers fired 32 shots in return, subsequently murdering Taylor in her home.
An unfortunate and unnecessary loss of a Black woman became the catalyst for the ongoing fight toward combatting the injustices and police brutality Black and Brown people face in America. We choose today to remember Breonna Taylor as the joyful, loving and loyal daughter, niece, friend and girlfriend she was to so many people in her community. Let us celebrate our fallen sister with a list comprised of a few of her favorite things.
1. ’80s and ’90s Music
Taylor loved music from the ’80s and ’90s. One of her favorite songs was Mary J. Blige’s “My Everything.”
Her favorite artists at the time were NBA Young Boy and Rod Wave. Both artists are quite popular amongst Taylor’s generation.
3. Games With Family
She adored playing games with close family and friends. Her favorite games were Skip Bo and Phase 10. In an interview with The Cut, her mom recalls each holiday, Breonna wanted all of her aunts, uncles and cousins to be together. “We need to have a game night once a week!”
She would happily organize and call whoever hosting to ask, “What do you want me to text out to everybody? You got a theme? What are you playing?”
4. Louisville, Kentucky
Though most of her family moved to Louisville, Kentucky from Michigan, Breonna Taylor loved where she was raised. She moved as a teen and quickly assimilated to Louisville living.
5. Fried Chicken
Breonna’s family and friends remember how much she loved chicken, preferably fried. Her mom affectionately shares how she didn’t care if it was Thanksgiving or Easter, Taylor needed chicken to be included on the menu. Her friends don’t remember her as much of a chef, but she would whip up some fried chicken.
She loved working in healthcare and often mentioned how it was a rewarding job. She would tell her family and friends how happy it made to know that she made a difference in someone else’s life.
She shared a note on Facebook after her uncle suffered from a stroke, “It makes me feel so happy when I know I’ve made a difference in someone else’s life. I’m so appreciative of all the staff that has helped my uncle throughout this difficult time and those that will continue to make a difference in his life.”
She just loved taking care of people. In high school, she said she wanted to be a nurse. Her first job was at Steak ’n Shake when she was 15, and every job she took after that had something to do with helping people.
Breonna’s favorite colors were purple and blue.
8. TV Show
Her favorite show to watch was the classic 90s sitcom, Martin. Breonna Taylor was remembered as a lovable and joyous woman who enjoyed laughing, so a show like Martin being her favorite makes perfect sense.
Breonna loved cars, even at a young age, and she was determined to get one of her own. When she was 17, her mom remembers she finally purchased one. It was a Dodge Charger and she had recently purchased the 2019 model two months before she transitioned.
10. Dressing Up
She sadly wasn’t able to celebrate her birthday last year, but her mom recalls celebrating in 2019. She asked all of her family and friends to get dressed up and wear their best. They all joined Breonna at a steakhouse. She did her makeup and got her hair done. She said to her family, “Don’t come to my dinner if you’re not going to dress up!”
Her mom says she wasn’t too over the top, but she always took pride in her appearance and the way she presented herself to the world.
Take a moment today to relish in Breonna Taylor’s favorite things. Find some commonalities between yourself and Taylor. Be sure to remember that she was like many of us, a Black woman with hopes, dreams and love in her heart, looking to survive in America.