SUMMARY: Two notable tweet threads from author Dr. Esau McCaulley and Love Thy Neighborhood founder Jesse Eubanks on why we need to be need to be thoughtful with the words we use and not parrot partisan lexicon.
McCaulley’s tweet thread.
KEY QUOTES: “What did woke originally mean? It meant a black person who learned more about our history and culture and then committed themselves to working to uplift our people and fight for justice. To get ‘woke’ meant to care.: ‘Wokeness’ rhetoric is different. It is rooted in a basic cynicism about black concerns. It is not a critique from within our community; it is a mocking by those outside it. If you are non-black and you start talking about ‘wokenes’ I usually assume that you don’t care about us.” – Esau McCaulley
“Choose language that is more thoughtful. Taking a minority group’s historically positive term and using it as mockery makes things worse, not better. We’re capable of better. So, the next time you want to call someone ‘woke’ as a way to dismissively categorize them, consider alternative words instead. There are plenty of more thoughtful options.” – Jesse Eubanks
More curated resources on the word woke:
Just six minutes and two videos is all it takes to quickly learn about the origins of the word woke, its many definitions, and why we should ask people what they mean when they use the term before engaging in a conversation.
An excellent deep dive replete with songs, video, and tweets that traces the origin of woke, its multiple definitions, and how it is being used in our current cultural moment.
A call to Christians to think about the words we use and to stop using the word “woke” as a pejorative.