Celebrating Famous Black Lefties on International Left-Handers Day

dekAccording to Time.com, today is International Left-Handers Day.  So in honor of this occasion, Good Black News is celebrating a few of the famous African-American southpaws who have made their mark on the world (so to speak):


In the past hundred years, the U.S. presidency has veered more and more to the left — not in policy, but in handedness. Barack Obama is the latest to join a long list of left-handed presidents from the 20th century: James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Henry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were all southpaws.

What makes lefties so electable? Some experts think left-handed people have a greater aptitude for language skills, which may help them craft the rhetoric necessary for political office.  And as for the bout of recent left-handed presidents, some think it’s because teachers only recently stopped working to convert lefties to righties at an early age.



The talk-show maven doesn’t need much more to set her apart from the rest — with her estimated $2.7 billion fortune and ever-expanding media empire — but she also has the distinction of being a member of the left-handed club. Since men are more likely to be left-handed than women, that makes Oprah doubly impressive. She’s in good company: Other show business titans of the southpaw persuasion include Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie (FYI, Brad Pitt is also a lefty).


Jimi Hendrix learned to play in Nashville blues clubs before touring as a back-up musician for the Isley Brothers and Little Richard. He broke out on his own in 1966, but his career was cut short by a drug overdose in August 1970. Hendrix’s use of distortion and wah-wah effects warped and extended notes in ways no other player could quite achieve; for years,

dekright-handed guitarists have tried to emulate his sound, going so far as to put left-handed necks on their own guitars.  There was one technique not impacted by Hendrix’s lefthandedness: setting his guitar on fire. For that, he used both hands. 


Whoopi GoldbergThis Academy-Award winning actress and current “The View” co-host is as eclectic as they come, so it’s no wonder she is also a leftie.  From her dazzling debut on Broadway in the 1980s with her one-woman show, to directing a documentary on comedic pioneer Moms Mabley to her upcoming turn as the matriarch in Lifetime’s adaptation of the Terry McMillan novel “A Day Late and A Dollar Short”, Goldberg always keeps it fresh and interesting, as lefties often do.


KennethBabyfaceEdmondsHWOFMay2013Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds not only has the distinction of looking much younger than his years, but this multi-platinum award-winning producer, composer (“I’ll Make Love To You”, “Take A Bow”, “Change The World”, “When Will I See You Again”) and musician, like Hendrix, also belongs to the small group of successful and talented left-handed guitarists.  Martin, one of the world’s premiere guitar makers, designed a special model named after Babyface in 2000 and in honor of him, made both left and right-handed versions.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (full disclosure; also a proud leftie)

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