For the third year running, we are offering up My Favorite Things in recognition of 2024 Black History Month. Like its predecessors, this year’s Still More Favorite Things is a collection of lists submitted by Black MEDEX Northwest students, faculty and staff of their favorite actors, movies, foods, music, tv shows, and books, all rooted in the Black/African Diaspora experience. At the heart of these individual lists is community. What are your favorite things? 

Medina Glenn, student, MEDEX Seattle Class 57

MOVIES: I’m still a big fan of Spike Lee and the movie Do The Right Thing, for its complex themes on race and belonging, plus its beautiful cinematography and atmosphere of bygone New York. It has been one of my favorites for years. I even saw it at the drive-in theater in Portland during the early pandemic! It’s such a classic.  

FOOD/CUISINE: My aunty in San Francisco just taught me the family gumbo recipe last year, and I’m absolutely stoked that I can cook it now. It’s full of delicious crab, chicken, spicy sausage, and plump shrimp with a side of rice. Perfection! This recipe has been in my family on my Dad’s side for generations, and it connects me back to my late great grandmother, Ruby, who grew up in the South. We have a handful of Southern recipes that she left us, and this was one of the best! 

MUSIC/MUSICIANS: I recently got into the phenomenal British classical-soul pianist Alexis Ffrench. His 2022 album Truth blew me away. Also, I love The Dotty Show on Apple Music. Dotty brings music all the best Black artists from around the world. I hear awesome new artists on her show all the time. 

TV SHOWS: This is tough! I don’t watch a lot of TV. However, I do watch YouTube videos and one of my favorite content creators is Black Yogi Nico Marie. I love to wind down after a long day to her yoga videos. Check her out! 

BOOKS: I recently read and loved Ross Gay‘s Inciting Joy, which is a collection of autobiographical essays. His essay about his late father and another about a community orchard were particularly heartwarming. I read the book in just a couple sittings. I recommend it! 

Gwen Credit, MA, Director of Didactic Program Operations, MEDEX Northwest

MOVIES: I have so many favorite movies and tv shows that I love especially from back in the day.  Spike Lee‘s movies – School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and Jungle Fever. Spike Lee is a trailblazer an  original black film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and author who fought hard for access to the big cinema world where he explored and introduced issues within the black American community and explored race relations which ultimately opened the doors and paved the way for upcoming artist.  His work featured several amazing and talented black actors and actresses that contributed to the theater and film industry that went unrecognized because of the color of their skin. 

FOOD/CUISINE: All original recipe soul food such as collard greens and cornbread, sweet potatoes and candied yams, Louisiana red beans and rice, black-eyed peas, southern fried catfish, tender juicy seasoned chicken, and BBQ ribs. I love soul food because it is an integral part of Black food culture and as a descendent of slaves my ancestors invented it, and it still lives today as an inspiration of how soul food and community became the comfort for black Americans in our struggles for equality.

BOOKS: In 1986, I was a freshman at the University of Washington and in my English class we were required to read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. This book introduced me and opened up my world to the great black women poet Maya Angelou and I gained so much strength from this book and it inspired me to be free and wonderful in spite of all the obstacles and challenges that I was facing as a young black women in an enormous racist University system where the odds were definitely against me.


Minty Tadesse, MEDEX Seattle Class 57, PA-S1

MOVIES: Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It (1986) is a movie surrounding the lifestyle of a black woman named Nola Darling, a liberated graphic artist living in Brooklyn. As you follow the ups and downs of the multiple romantic entanglements of Ms. Darling, the film ultimately ends up with the main character happily alone. Although the movie is a little older (I say ‘a little’ because the 80s were yesterday), I really resonate with the narrative of empowerment/freedom for black women, which has always been a topic of controversy. “A woman […] doesn’t have to belong to a man, and perhaps shouldn’t even wish for such a thing.” Oof, Lee really did that.

FOODS: As a second-generation Ethiopian, injera claims the spot as my favorite food. Specifically, Doro Wat (chicken stew) and Gomen (Collard Greens) can turn any bad day good in an instant. I especially love that eating injera can be more so an event, in which people come together and will gursha, an affectionate act of feeding a bite to a loved one. Every time I eat Ethiopian food, I’m reminded of the richness of our culture.

MUSIC: Some of my favorite musicians include Lauryn Hill/The Fugees, Biggie Smalls, Tribe Called Quest, Duke Ellington, D’Angelo and the Vanguard, and Brittany Howard. I love how Lauryn Hill put her foot into “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” and told a story of existential hardships, liberation, and blackness as she, and many others, experienced it. We also can’t forget about the revolutionary sounds from The Fugees and Tribe, as they showed the world that being black doesn’t mean you can’t be a little weird. Their music fought against the boxed narrative and stereotypes of black people, showing that we can be diverse and complex in our musical expression.  

BOOKS: My ultimate favorite author is science fiction author Octavia Butler. Her work changed the game by showing me representation in a genre I fell in love with. Her work let me fully immerse myself in the pages and relate to a world that I sometimes felt isolated from. As the “mother of Afrofuturism,” Butler paved the way to influence amazing work by other black science fiction/fantasy writers like Nnedi Okorafor and N.K. Jemisin.