what does woke mean ?


The term “woke” has become increasingly popular in recent years, but its meaning and origins can be confusing. In this article, we will explore the definition of “woke,” its historical context, and its evolution into a popular social and political movement.

What Does “Woke” Mean?

The term “woke” originated in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and was popularized in the 2000s as a way to describe being aware of systemic racism and social injustice. It has since evolved to encompass a broader understanding of social issues, including but not limited to race.

Historical Context:

The idea of being “woke” has roots in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, where activists and leaders such as Malcolm X and Angela Davis encouraged black Americans to awaken to the reality of their oppression and fight for their rights. The concept was also popularized in the 1990s through hip-hop music, with artists like Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur using it in their lyrics.

Evolution of the Term:

In recent years, the term “woke” has been adopted by a wider audience and has evolved to encompass a range of social and political issues beyond race. It is now used to describe individuals who are aware of and actively working to combat issues such as sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and environmentalism.

Woke Culture:

The “woke” movement has also given rise to what some refer to as “woke culture,” which is characterized by a heightened awareness of social issues and an emphasis on inclusivity, diversity, and equality. Some critics argue that “woke culture” can lead to excessive political correctness and cancel culture, where individuals are shamed or punished for expressing opinions deemed insensitive or offensive.

Impact on Society:

The “woke” movement has had a significant impact on society, particularly in the areas of politics and media. It has led to increased representation and diversity in entertainment and advertising, as well as changes in public policy and corporate culture. However, it has also sparked backlash from those who feel it has gone too far or is being used as a tool for censorship.


In conclusion, the term “woke” has a complex and evolving history, but its current usage reflects a broader understanding of social issues and a commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable society. While there are criticisms of “woke culture,” it has undeniably had a significant impact on our society and will continue to shape our social and political landscape.

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