The Brief: To be woke is to be aware.


Woke is a term that means “aware,” as in “awake.” It is often used in reference to being socially conscious.ย Woke is the opposite of sleepin’ on.

The term originates from African American usage, particularly in relation to racial justice and activism: “stay woke.” In recent years, it has entered the mainstream vernacular.

The term is often used in music, such as “Redbone” by Childish Gambino:

They gon’ find you
Gon’ catch you sleepin’
Now stay woke