Growing up attending the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club, Anthony Smith, a senior medical assistant at Swedish Issaquah Neurosurgery, says the culture was laid down for him to have a love for learning Black history.
“Every Black History Month, they had something for you to learn about Black history and culture. Not just around the world, but also in the city of Seattle and Washington state,” Anthony says.
Anthony, a senior medical assistant at Issaquah Neurosurgery, reflected fondly on going to that after-school club run by Bill Burton, who dedicated his life to caring for kids in South Seattle and was recently honored with a street named after him in the Central District.
Raised a few blocks from the Cherry Hill campus, Anthony was surrounded by Black culture and advocates for others to learn more about, especially during Black History Month. He played on the same streets Jimi Hendrix once did and lived across the street from jazz singer Ernestine Anderson, picking blackberries in Miss Anderson’s backyard.
Anthony attended Bellevue Community College, where he served as vice president and president of the Black Student Union and proudly brought Black artists, musicians and business owners to the college every Black History Month.
Anthony Smith has worked at Swedish for over 10 years, starting out with jobs in several clinics at the Cherry Hill campus.
In the past few years, Anthony has been learning more about Black business owners and Black entrepreneurship while helping his mother launch her own business, a bakery.
Each Black History Month, Anthony makes a point learns something new about Black culture and history. Anthony passed on this year's lesson: Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies was founded by a Black man, Wallace “Wally” Amos Jr., in 1975, with the help of musician Marvin Gaye and others.
“This is some of our history people don’t even know about, that existed all this time,” Anthony says. “Those are the type of histories I love learning about. I would love for people who do not know the history of certain things, like where Famous Amos cookies come from, to get out and learn, too.”
To help learn more about our local and national Black history, Anthony recommends the Northwest African American Museum and Langston Hughes Art Center.
Anthony Smith has worked at Swedish for over 10 years, starting out with jobs in several clinics at the Cherry Hill campus. At Issaquah today, he assists neurosurgeon Amir Abdul-Jabbar, M.D. Anthony enjoys connecting with patients and helping them prepare for their visit to Swedish Issaquah. He also believes in helping his fellow caregivers and supervisors.
“With my years here, people know they can turn to me to help them get what they need for their clinics,” he says. “What’s rewarding about working here is not just the care for patients, but the care for everyone.”
Black History Month caregiver spotlight: Iris Mireau
The Northwest African American Museum
MOHAI — History Café: Paying Tribute to Seattle’s Black Landmarks and their Namesakes
BUILD Black History Month Events
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