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Woke is the simple past tense and past participle of wake. For example, "Joe woke up on the wrong side of the bed."

In certain African American dialects that are not accepted as proper English, woke ungrammatically is used to refer to a person unquestioningly accepting a radical political doctrine viewing society in terms of "white privilege." Just as Christians who find inner peace by accepting Jesus Christ into their lives are called "born again", some people who feel great anger at society because of what they feel is social injustice are called "woke."

According to token conservative David Brooks of The New York Times:

"To be woke is to be radically aware and justifiably paranoid. It is to be cognizant of the rot pervading the power structures. The woke manner shares cool’s rebel posture, but it is the opposite of cool in certain respects. Cool was politically detached, but being a social activist is required for being woke. Cool was individualistic, but woke is nationalistic and collectivist. Cool was emotionally reserved; woke is angry, passionate and indignant. Cool was morally ambiguous; woke seeks to establish a clear marker for what is unacceptable."[1]

See also


  1. Brooks, David. "How Cool Works in America Today", New York Times, July 25, 2017. Retrieved on Feb 14, 2018.