"The Lesson," by Toni Cade Bambara, is a short story in which Bambara refers to a group of kids who have been exposed to a number of social, economic, and political issues. Sylvia, Sugar, Rosie, and Mercedes are not aware of the significant but negative impact that these factors will have on their lives if they do not realize what kind of system they are living on. All these factors can cause some bad repercussions on the personal and social development of the kids in their societies.
First of all, Bambara presents to us a very unusual figure or character, Miss Moore, an African American woman, who has a college degree which was very rare at that time because this story took place somewhere after the segregation ends in the U.S history. By the way she dressed up and the way she acts she clearly represents the symbol of the black community that was awakening from all the segregation and other problems that black people experienced before. Miss Moore is a very educated woman who is been working not only to help the kids but also to help their parents by showing them how to succeed in their life. Sylvia, Sugar, Rosie, and Mercedes always views Miss Moore's advice as a boring. Some of the kids even talk about her such as: " I"m really hating this nappy head bitch and her god dam college degree", Sylvia said. Some others made comments such as " school suppose to let up in summer I heard, but she don't never let up" (108) referring to Miss Moore. These kids did not respect anybody at all. The kids were used to insulting themselves and treating each other in disrespectful way. The kids did not realize that they were being disrespectful because they have been exposed to this kind of attitudes during all of their lives. They were living in the kind of black society where there is too much fear and anger.
Throughout Bambara's short story, Miss Moore is trying to open the eyes of young ones who have been living in the same getto areas where there was not a desire of progress and success in the world.