the meaning of woke

From Merriam-Webster:

  1. aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)
  2. often used in contexts that suggest someone’s expressed beliefs about such matters are not backed with genuine concern or action


From Cambridge Dictionary:

  1. aware, especially of social problems such as racism and inequality:


From Collins Dictionary:

  1. aware of social and political injustice


From Wikipedia:

  1. Woke is an adjective derived from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) meaning “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination”. Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism, and has also been used as shorthand for American Left ideas involving identity politics and social justice, such as the notion of white privilege and slavery reparations for African Americans.


The Wikipedia link is an excellent history of the use of woke going back to African American usage around the start of the twentieth century. It basically took 100 years for White folks to “wake up” to what Blacks had been horrifically suffering from for centuries in America.

we need a t-shirt

This is in response (in a good way) to a post by John Scalzi, which links to an earlier post he wrote on essentially the same subject. The t-shirt was inspired by the first bullet point Mr. Scalzi wrote in that second post. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then by all means go and read those articles. Especially the second. They are both well worth your time. Especially the second.


This t-shirt was designed at Custom Ink: