Then & Now: 50 Key Sites in the American Civil Rights Movement

This is my Van Gogh, folks. Easily the best thing I’ve done for them, and something that can rock all month long. Joe’s write up on my piece was better than my intro, and between this and Brad getting the cover, it’s been a good year for HU dudes so far. Read this, and not just because it’s Black History month. Here it is, with the original intro.

“Make black history every day, I don’t need a month.”

That’s Kanye West speaking. Yes, it’s the 1st of February, meaning that it is Black History Month, but why should the actions of important figures in African-American history only be recognized during one month? Although we get an extra day this year, why wait for the shortest month to acknowledge these individuals?

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 influenced a burgeoning new culture. Hip-hop has roots in the Civil Rights Movement, as the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and ghosts of the South can be heard in artists from Goodie Mob and Outkast to the ripe wisdom of newcomers like Big K.R.I.T. Moreover, the aggressive intelligence of Malcolm X or the Black Panther Party can be heard in defiant O.G.’s like Public Enemy, Ice Cube and 2Pac all the way to frustrated leaders of hip-hop’s new era like Kendrick Lamar. 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 back then. The job will never be finished, but without them, there’s no way America would’ve made the progress that it has. To highlight the magnitude of the movement, we’ve examined side-by-side photos of its important locations as they looked at the time and how they appear now. You’ll find some places you expected to see, and some you probably never thought of. So, without further sermon, Complex presents Then and Now: 50 Key Sites of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Words by Julian Kimble (@JRK316).

Via Complex.

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