The Lesson by: Toni Cade Bambara Essay

695 Words3 Pages
The Sixties, in America, was famously known as the years of the Cultural Revolution. It was a socially and politically chaotic period for America. In Toni Cade Bambara’s short story, “The Lesson”, she exposes the injustices and inequalities imposed on African Americans of that time. “…she’s boring us silly about what things cost and what our parents make… and how money ain’t divided up right in this country. And then… about we all poor and live in the slums” (Bambara 137). During the time in which Bambara’s story was written, black children weren’t well educated and education was, most likely, the least of their priorities, which can be seen from Sylvia’s point of view when she states “… I’m really hating this nappy-head bitch and…show more content…
Furthermore, another major influence that surrounded Bambara’s short story was poverty. During this time, in which Bambara’s story was written, Americans experienced the rise in prices on market goods, oil and much more, better known as the Stagflation Era. This specific economic event was reflected in Bambara’s story when Sylvia is about to pay the cab driver, “Sugar say give him a dime. And I decide he don’t need it as bad as I do, so later for him” (Bambara 137). And in addition, Sylvia mentions how thirty-five dollars can get her a long way, “thirty-five dollars could buy new bunk beds… the whole household could go visit granddaddy nelson in the country… would pay for the rent and the piano bill too” (Bambara 140). Although poverty was the first thing learned, it was a way of life for Sylvia and her friends and they didn’t seem to have a problem with it since everyone around them is on the same level as one another- Poor! We can see this when the children are in the store, having a discussion about a paperweight, “We don’t keep paper on top of the desk in my class… I don’t even have a desk at home… and I don’t get no homework either” (Bambara 138). In conclusion, during the Sixties and throughout the Seventies, African Americans, such as Miss Moore, would try to educate the next generation, such as the kids, in hopes to,

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