Old Country Store hosts Black History Lunch and Learn

JACKSON, Tenn. — Residents and community leaders gathered to celebrate Black History Month at a local restaurant.

The Old Country Store partnered with the Jackson-Madison County Bicentennial Commission to host a Black History Lunch and Learn event.

Juanita Shaw, CEO of the Old Country Store, says it’s important to discuss and remember the struggles African Americans faced during slavery and the Jim Crow era.

“They couldn’t sit down. They couldn’t come into a building. So they had to make their lunches at home and someone else made their lunches, and they use a shoe box a lot of times to hold their lunch,” Shaw said.

Shaw says her late husband wanted to commemorate the progress made in the United States and in Jackson by removing the historic stools that symbolized the sacrifice made to pave the way for non-segregated restaurants in the Hub City.

“Lane students back in the 60s,” Shaw said. “They were not allowed to have lunch, but they went and they sat down to be served. They were not served. They were mistreated.”

She says her restaurant is a place of harmony, where people of all different backgrounds come to eat and celebrate.

“We have millionaires that eat here and people on food stamps that eat here. At a table you can sit down together and get to know one another. There’s no better place than at a table,” Shaw said.

Lane College President Logan Hampton says that event serves as a reminder of the struggles and the progress made in the country.

Hampton says this event is supposed to foster conversation and growth towards the history of systematic racism and the progress made to overcome it.

“This display reminds us of four young African American students who had no positional power, had no authority, had no money, but having this burning desire to right a historic wrong, to right a wrong in their community,” Hampton said.

Hampton says he was inspired to learn about young Black students that were brave enough to fight for what they believe in.

“So learning from the past and being inspired by that history, we can be something greater and live out that American dream,” Hampton said.

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