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Are you really “woke”?

April 23, 2016

WAKE UP

School Daze coined the phrase “wake up”, which stood to encourage African American students to become more conscious of their surroundings. 

 

Since its premiere, School Daze is recognized as one of the most influential films written, produced and directed by Spike Lee. 

 

Spike Lee’s motivation behind the film was to bring to light to the not so great things happening in black fraternities and sororities on the campus of his alma mater and sister college, Morehouse & Spelman. 

 

At the end of the film, Lawrence Fishborne, who played the role of Dap, screams “WAKE UP” in the middle of the school campus. 

 

Dap’s character was the example of an “individual” on campus, who not only shied away from Greek letter organizations, but he was someone who was aware of all things happening around him in the world, and worked effortlessly, throughout the film, to motivate others to “WAKE UP”!

BEING WOKE

“Woke” is a term used by African Americans who identify with all that was truly wrong in the world, those who are politically conscious and motivated to encourage communal love and support. 

 

If you are “woke”, you are an individual who possess a profound understanding of politics, history and evolution of culture and encourages communal love and oneness. 

 

Most of the individuals now who define themselves as "woke" are only "woke" to certain ideas, and continue to misinterpret others. If you are truly "woke", however, you have a profound understanding of all that is happening around you, and you also understand and accept your role and responsibility to impact change.  

RESPONSIBILITY TO IMPACT CHANGE

Now, with all of the craziness going on in this world, especially the senseless murders of African American men by police officers, more people are supposedly becoming “woke”. 

 

Can you hear my sarcasm?

 

I say supposedly because I believe too many of us are using the term "woke" loosely, without a great understanding of what it requires. I think most people who use the term, use it because they are tired of injustice, or are emotionally triggered by "right now" causes. And while I believe being tired of injustice will motivate you to gain a deeper sense of community and awareness of the world, it is definitely NOT the only thing that qualifies you as being "woke".

 

So why use the term if you don't get it?  

 

It's popular, it's in right now to be "conscious", so much so that we make ourselves "look aware" to be more appealing. After all, we do everything for social media these days. And no one thinks on their own these days, instead they view being "conscious" or "woke" as reading a newspaper, following twitter trending updates, donating to a "right now" cause or creating a hashtag.

 

We don't understand being "woke" because we think we are "woke".

 

It's like telling someone who thinks they understand something, that they are wrong. Who wants to hear that? No one right? They will feel like someone is a hater before they try to really seek greater understanding. But just know that those who are actually "woke", they don't just use the term, they act on the responsibility of the term. 

 

And while I appreciate all those who are grounded in the community and have an ability to rationalize the happenings of the world, accept their role and work to impact change; there are only so many out there doing the work.

 

So I ask the question again.

 

Are you really woke?

 

Or are you just emotionally charged from one right now cause to the next?  

 

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