The word “awakening” is definitely an adjective that comes from AAVE (African National Vernacular English) meaning “beware of racial prejudice and discrimination.” Since around 2010, their meaning has expanded to also include awareness of several different cultural inequalities and endemic injustices.
The meaning of awakening – at its core
At its core, awakening means being alert to the financial, cultural, and political conditions that disproportionately affect marginalized neighborhoods. This realization is usually seen as the first step in trying to eliminate endemic injustices and sell greater inclusion and equality.
If you were to wake up, on average you would identify a wide selection of social problems, including homophobia, sexism and racism. You imagine that attitudes that may be deeply rooted in cultural and historical aspects require deliberate, focused, sustained energy to overcome.
According to wikipedia.org:
“While there is no agreed-upon definition of the word, it has mostly arisen in connection with certain ideas that involve personhood and race and that are peddled by progressives, such as the idea of clear privilege or slavery reparations for African-Americans.” .”
Activism and Advocacy
People who are awakened often engage in advocacy and activism to support cultural triggers related to cultural justice.
If you participated in protests to advance cultural justice dilemmas, provided to relevant agencies, and signed petitions, many of us would probably describe you as a woke individual. You could also use social media to go a long way in spreading awareness and inspiring people to take action.
In this sense, the word awakened is more than having one’s own opinion or state of mind. It’s really a commitment to try to change the whole world in a more confident and inclusive way.
Overuse of the term
We have overused and diluted the word so much that it lacks its unique meaning.
In fact, today we often use the term pejoratively when criticizing or mocking those we think prioritize cultural justice issues.
Woke will be heavily used to explain individuals who appear to be socially sluggish but do not engage in any substantial activity to try to enlarge the world.
Regardless of how their meaning may have changed over the last few years, we should not overlook that the term “woke” fundamentally demonstrates a critical call to action to overcome cultural injustices.