What does "Woke" mean?

For the longest time when I heard the word "woke" my brain processed it as "yoked" so I've been thinking "woke" was a fitness term. I know, I'm an idiot. 

Anyways, I keep hearing and seeing "woke" but I don't exactly know what it means, so I googled it. 

According the Urban Dictionary:


Although an incorrect tense of awake, a reference to how people should be aware in current affairs.

"While you are obessing with the Kardashians, there are millions of homeless in the world. STAY WOKE"

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as:

Definition of woke


chiefly US slang

aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)

  • But we will only succeed if we reject the growing pressure to retreat into cynicism and hopelessness. … We have a moral obligation to "stay woke," take a stand and be active; challenging injustices and racism in our communities and fighting hatred and discrimination wherever it rises.
  •  —Barbara Lee
  • … argued that … Brad Pitt is not only woke, but the wokest man in Hollywood … because he uses his status—and his production company Plan B—to create space for artists of color, with such films as 12 Years a Slave, Selma, and the upcoming film Moonlight.
  •  —Giselle Defares

Now we all know. 



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