Erykah Badu stays woke. In an MSNBC segment aired Tuesday night (March 29), the recent Vogue cover star was interviewed by news correspondent Ari Melber, and explained her 2008 song “Master Teacher.” The New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) track featured Georgia Ann Muldrow, both artists using the phrase “I stay woke.”
Four years later, in a tweet supporting feminist protest Russian band Pussy Riot, Badu used the term again. In her words, “woke took off.” Melber then asked the 52-year-old Dallas native about her thoughts on where ‘woke’ has gone, using clips of Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis weaponizing the term. DeSantis, who in 2022 said “Florida is where woke goes to die,” has recently lead an anti-woke crusade in the state, placing restrictions on Black history being taught in advance placement courses. In response to DeSantis, the NAACP has urged Black Americans to avoid traveling or moving to Florida.
I think they mean ‘Black.’” Badu said Trump and DeSantis. “It is what is is, it doesn’t belong to us anymore,” the artist added, saying that ‘woke’ has taken “a life of its own.” She ended with her own definition of the term: “It just means being aware, being in alignment with nature, because if you’re in alignment with that, you’re aware of everything going on.”
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