Yesterday, Professor Clyde Woods passed away. Shock doesn’t begin to describe my feelings. They’re something more like disbelief and emptiness. While I’m not going to wax poetic about his contributions to academe (others can do that much better than I can, trust me), I do need to reflect on him as a person in my life. I met Dr. Woods while earning my undergrad in African American Studies at the University of Maryland. I took two of the best classes of my college career with him, “Hip-Hop & The Blues” and “Washington & Prince George’s [County] History, Culture & Policy.” I always appreciated the way he pushed us to make sense of the world around us, examining everything from a new lens. He gave us the leeway to do things that fell outside of the expected boxes, something that other professors balked at. I’ll never forget our trip to Riversdale Mansion, which indulged my obsession with antebellum architecture and forced us to go beyond the walls of our classroom, beyond the steps of campus, and really see the community.