Are you “Woke” or still “Sleep”??

What does it mean to be “Woke”? This term has seen a resurgence recently and become, in my opinion, quite trendy. What the general public now knows as “Woke”, was at one time referred to as “conscious,” and it’s existed in the collective Black community for a very long time. It seems to be one of those terms that feels real good to say and sounds great to the ears of those who fashion themselves progressives and social justice activists.

I get that for a lot of folks, the prospect of earning the “Woke” badge is particularly tantalizing  because it implies that you’re down with the historical fight against prejudice. But just remember the roots of “Woke” when you use it, because this term embodies a lot more than just a “grammatically incorrect” hashtag.

So what does it really mean to be “Woke”?


In essence “Woke” means being aware of the current social, political, and economic issues that are effecting our communities. It involves having a clear understanding of what’s going on in mainstream society-how the media uses propaganda to keep folks Sleep and ignorant and how folks process the images and their subsequent actions based on the mental conditioning that is subconsciously taking place, and why some folks are slaves to the system and don’t even realize it.

It means recognizing with your whole being your connection to everyone and everything around you, and with that, not allowing yourself to only view life through your personal lens. It’s crucial to acknowledge that you must be open yourself to the viewpoints of others which means looking at society through a variety of lenses of those who grew up in different environments and who have experienced life much differently than you.

“Woke” happens when one becomes conscious of these frameworks and works toward sustaining that consciousness over a lifetime and it requires an active, conscious process of de-programming the myriad of social conditionings that focus on consistent efforts to challenge the universal infractions we have all been subjected to.

socially aware

It means acknowledging the necessity of creating safe spaces for LGBTQ communities, being open to learning more about the transgender experience, understanding why it’s important to ask someone, “Which pronouns do you prefer?”, acknowledging race and gender discrepancies, and refusing to hide behind political correctness to justify and condone the ignorance and hatred that has been unleashed thanks in no small part to the election of Trump.

It means doing periodic reality checks on one’s ego, privilege and perspective. Those who are “Woke” must engage themselves in ways that actively challenge the world we live in. Some people are born Awake and remain Awake during their lives. Others are “Awakened” later in life.

If you are one that chooses to signal your “Wokeness” by bragging about how “Woke” you are, then you have revealed yourself to be very unwoke indeed; because in truth you seek public recognition, and crave social affirmation that includes hundreds of likes and thousands of followers, and you are in fact antithetical to what it means to be “Woke.” You in fact are still SLEEP…



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