The risks exercised by the activists of the Civil Rights Movement are almost unfathomable when you break it down. Had they lacked the courage to take action, they wouldn't have created a new world and forever influenced American culture.

Hip-hop has roots in the Movement, as the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the ghosts of the South can be heard in artists from Goodie Mob and Outkast to newcomers like Big K.R.I.T. The aggressive intelligence of Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party can be heard in defiant O.G.'s like Public Enemy and 'Pac, all the way to Kendrick Lamar and others. Because their courage allowed others to realize their vision and tell their stories, members of the Civil Rights Movement of all races, deserve to be remembered every day.

Everything associated with the Civil Rights Movement—the places, the people and their actions—are as relevant today as they were then. To highlight the magnitude of the movement, we've compiled side-by-side photos of significant locations (ordered chronologically), comparing how they looked then to how they appear now.

Complex presents Then and Now: 50 Key Sites of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Words by Julian Kimble (@JRK316).