What is the theme of the story "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara? "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

 Miss Moore, a well-educated black woman, wants the children in her neighborhood to be exposed to the more cultural aspects of life. Supported by the local parents’ group,  she takes on the challenge of teaching the local kids about life outside of the projects.  Toni Cade Bambara uses the story “The Lesson to expose the African-American problem of social inequality and the lack of quality education for the black children.

Theme

The author uses the lesson by Miss Moore of poverty of  the impoverished children of New York City’s ghetto.  It is apparent that all of these black children have hopes and desires just like other kids their age. 

Poverty does not mean stupid or lacking in desires.  The teacher wants to empower the students to make a change in their future by seeing the importance of education and what their lives could be like instead of the poverty in which they live.

Protagonist and Narrator

At the center of the story is Sylvia, a young black girl, who serves as the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 779 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team