Inequalities in the distribution of wealth is a main issue in our society. The poor becomes poorer whilst the rich gets richer. In ?The Lesson?, the author Toni Cade Bambara conveys this disparity between the economically disenfranchised and the wealthy through the main character Sylvia who hates Miss Moore since Miss Moore?s teaching and her use of the term ?slums? for the neighborhood Sylvia and her friends live in makes Sylvia realize that she is poor and inferior.
The story?s setting in 1972 reveals how blacks did not have equal opportunities even though African American had achieved their civil rights in the late 1960?s. Sylvia?s comment about Miss Moore?s nappy hair also shows how whites make blacks feel like silky hair and straight hair defines beauty. Like Toni Morrison?s novel about a girl called Pecola, Sylvia feels that white traits define beauty. the white and rich always make other races feel inferior and then create cosmetics, synthetic hair, blue eye contacts which the rich gain profit from.
When Miss Moore stops two taxi cabs for the kids on their way to F.A.O Schwarz, she tries to show them that there is a better world out there. Most children who grow up in poverty, considers it a way of life and therefore does not seek anything better. At the store, they are amazed that the cost of a mere toy could feed a family of six. Their reaction was ?White folks are crazy?. Bambara depicts her main character as a stubborn person since this the attitude of most disadvantaged people.
Even though the setting of ?The lesson? was set in 1972, the idea expressed in it is remains true for today since the gap between the poor and the rich are even wider now. Some of these inequalities are our education...