LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) — Foster Middle School students put on their annual Black History Month program at the Longview Public Library on Thursday evening, showcasing history through the arts.

After three weeks of long practice, they performed select pieces that were prevalent in Black history.

“We will start with negro spirituals, then will move on to the civil rights movement, then we will move onto Gospel music, and then rock music and then we will end with a salute to Black History Month,” said Angela Reagans, choir teacher.

The history librarian said not only did music help when problems arose but it was also an escape.

“Music can give you solace I guess, and to give you the chance to get away from the problems going on in your own life, around the world. And I think it gives you the opportunity to get away,” said Christian Pippins, History Genealogy Librarian.

Songs like “Stand Up “and “We Shall Overcome” helped during those times.

“The songs during civil rights movement were to encourage everyone to hold on and keep moving forward and keep fighting for the injustices that had been done,” said Reagans.

The school choir also sang songs to help encourage everyone in the future.

“It gives the students a chance to learn that there are multiple ways to express themselves. But you can also learn about Black history and express yourself through music,” said Reagans.

It is important to recognize Black history through other fine arts to show representation in different aspects.

“To encourage the students to be proud of who you are, be proud of your heritage, be proud of the shoulders you’re standing on from the people that fought for what they believe in so we can have the freedoms we have today,” said Reagans.

Pippins said it is so special to hold history events in the library to leave learning something new.

“The library is always about mirrors and windows, so you can see yourself and also to see others,” said Pippins.

Reagans said they are teaching their students in Longview ISD that Black history is important in American history.