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In this phenomenological study we relied on classroom observations and 22 in-depth interviews with students as they interacted with African American faculty. Findings reveal the meaning students made from these classroom interactions and the ways African American faculty, significantly and positively, influenced the student experience. More specifically, students described the faculty as open, passionate, and caring, thereby making students feel comfortable, valued, and respected. This study supports previous research on the benefits of student–faculty interactions by providing additional evidence regarding the importance and value African American faculty bring to the academy.