Southfield, MI (WXYZ) — February is Black History Month and one restaurant in Southfield, Michigan  is celebrating by serving lunch with a lesson. Beans & Cornbread is taking you back in time with their food.

During segregation, African-Americans on the go had to travel with lunch in a shoe box.

“Black people were refused service in public accommodations, rest areas, restaurants.” Owner Patrick Coleman said, “There were oppressive times in the history of this country.”

Beans & Cornbread in Southfield has been around for 20 years, but when you walk-in, you take a trip back in time. For the month of February, you can order some “food for thought.”

“Walking into a restaurant, being seated, ordering food and when you think about folks 50, 60, 70 years ago, they didn’t have that privilege.”

Coleman said generations of his family’s stories include tales of traveling with lunch in a shoebox. Because of segregation, it was often hard to find an eatery that would serve African-Americans.

“If you took the train, say from Detroit to Nashville, once you hit the Mason-Dixon Line, you weren’t allowed to go into the dining cars.”

For Black History month, Beans & Cornbread is offering soul food in a shoebox. Inside you will find entrees, like delicious chicken and waffles. Outside the box are stories of historical figures and facts.

Let’s provide some knowledge, let’s tell the stories,” he said.

The box costs $1 on top of the price of the meal. A portion of the proceeds will go to a youth program in Detroit.

Even though the box represents an oppressive time, Coleman says it pays tribute to people who lived through it.

“Celebrating the resiliency of not only the human spirit, but the American spirit.”

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