What started as a hash­tag in the US quickly be­came a Twit­ter move­ment in South Africa. With the rise of po­lit­i­cally charged con­ver­sa­tions on­line, #be­foreIwas­woke is a pow­er­ful sym­bol of our chang­ing times. speaks to five women about the turn­ing points in

Marie Claire

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - REAL LIVES -

Com­piled by LIBBY ALLEN

In Jan­uary, woke Twit­ter was cred­ited for sound­ing the alarm on racist com­ments made on so­cial me­dia and de­mand­ing that those re­spon­si­ble be chal­lenged pub­licly. Sud­denly, wo­ke­ness is ev­ery­where – peo­ple are get­ting woke, stay­ing woke, and telling the world about it. And while woke Twit­ter isn’t a for­mal group or move­ment, it is un­doubt­edly the ag­i­ta­tor of the Twit­ter that sleeps. Per­haps woke Twit­ter is the best gauge of our col­lec­tive mind­set right now. But what does it all mean? Be­ing woke is about en­cour­ag­ing crit­i­cal think­ing about the so­cial is­sues, in­jus­tices and ex­pec­ta­tions we all live with – and the world is wak­ing up.

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