The Meaning of ‘Woke’ in Slang

Explore the origins and significance of ‘woke’ in today’s society, from activism to marketing. Learn how being ‘woke’ is more than just a slang term.


The term ‘woke’ has become a popular slang term in recent years, often used in social and political contexts. But what does it really mean? Let’s explore the origins and significance of ‘woke’ in today’s society.

Origins of ‘Woke’

The term ‘woke’ originated in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in the 20th century, referring to being aware of social injustices and systemic discrimination. It emerged as a call to action for Black people to be socially and politically conscious.

Evolution of ‘Woke’

Over time, ‘woke’ has evolved to encompass not only awareness of racial issues but also a broader understanding of various social inequalities, such as gender, sexuality, and class. It has become a way to describe individuals who are actively engaged in challenging and dismantling oppressive systems.

Characteristics of Being ‘Woke’

  • Being informed about social issues
  • Advocating for marginalized communities
  • Challenging the status quo
  • Recognizing privilege and using it to advocate for others

Examples of ‘Woke’ Activism

One example of ‘woke’ activism is the Black Lives Matter movement, which aims to combat police brutality and systemic racism. Another example is the #MeToo movement, which sheds light on sexual harassment and assault in various industries.

Case Study: The Impact of ‘Woke’ Marketing

In recent years, many brands have attempted to co-opt the term ‘woke’ in their marketing campaigns to appeal to socially conscious consumers. However, these efforts have often been met with criticism for being inauthentic and exploiting social movements for profit.

Statistics on ‘Woke’ Generation

A 2019 survey found that 72% of millennials and Gen Z consumers prefer to buy from brands that are socially and environmentally responsible. This indicates the growing importance of social consciousness among younger generations.


In conclusion, ‘woke’ has evolved from its origins in AAVE to become a symbol of social awareness and activism. It serves as a reminder to stay informed, challenge injustice, and use our voices for positive change in society.

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