The OED added the word in its quarterly update in June, with editors also researching to find the earliest examples of the word’s use.
READ: When Being Woke Goes Wrong: Pepsi, Black Lives Matter & Conscious Branding
The OED defines woke as follows:
woke, adjective: Originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice; frequently in stay woke.
According to Katherine Martin, head of Oxford’s U.S. dictionaries, before the word became synonymous with being aware it was simply used to mean awake. One of the earliest examples Martin found was for an event in the 1920s called the “Stay Woke Ball” in Harlem, which ran from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Only around the 1960s did the word begin to take on the meaning that it is now associated with.
The most recent and notable use of the word has been in Childish Gambino’s “Redbone,” with the song’s chorus being “But stay woke/Ni**as creepin’.”
READ: Childish Gambino’s ‘Redbone’ Is Now Certified Platinum By The RIAA
The song made an appearance in Jordan Peele’s well-received directorial feature film debut Get Out. Following its release, Peele talked about why he used the track in his movie.
“Well, first of all, I love the ‘Stay Woke’ [lyric] — that’s what this movie is about,” Peele said in an interview with HipHopDX. “I wanted to make sure that this movie satisfied the black horror movie audience’s need for characters to be smart and do things that intelligent and observant people would do.”
Reparations for Black residents of California could cost the state $800 billion, says California's reparations… Read More
The 2023 edition of Essence Festival of Culture will include performers Ms. Lauryn Hill, Megan… Read More
A rundown of NYC events happening this weekend, including the return of Smorgasburg, a live… Read More
Hip-Hop Stands With Survivors is protesting against Universal Hip Hop Museum's Rocky Bucano for his… Read More
Charlese Antoinette Jones has worked on the Academy Award-winning film Judas and the Black Messiah… Read More
During a Hot 97 visit, Madlib revealed that he is in the process of completing… Read More