To be “woke” has moved past being a colloquial phrase that’s popular among millennials of color and has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon. “Woke(ness)” the hashtag addendum on social media posts, is more than popular jargon. It’s a movement.
It’s an effort, primarily based on social media engagement, that challenges problematic societal medians by pushing for greater awareness of systemic injustices – white privilege, racial bias, over-policing, mass incarceration, etc. – and encourages people to wake up and question rigid, often dogmatic, social norms.
The movement’s underlying assumption is that society allocates benefits (think wealth, employment, healthcare, housing, etc.) differently based on skin color and ethnicity, and therefore, people of color must actively and consistently engage in the process of challenging the infractions they are subject to.
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