One of the most educational experiences of my undergraduate years occurred during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years. I spent the summer working in the microbiology lab of a factory near my home to earn money for college. One of the microbiologists was an African American man. We had many candid discussions that summer about race, including his many experiences with discrimination. His willingness to share his experiences transformed the way I interact publicly. For example, he told me about how he feels when he is walking down the street and he hears people locking their car doors as if he’s a threat to them. I had never really thought about how my actions could be perceived by others. Now I’m much more aware of my social responsibility not just to avoid racist acts, but to consider whether my actions can be perceived as racist. Now that I am a college English professor, I attempt to share this awareness of social interaction with my students. I share my discussions with that co-worker, and pair it with the essay, “Just Walk on By: Black Men in Public Space” by Brent Staples. Many of my students are from predominantly Caucasian