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The Lesson Many children in school learn about famous Americans like George Washington Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King who fought to make this the land of freedom opportunity and equality for all They learn about famous documents like the Declaration of Independence which declares that All Men are created equal One of the most difficult things about growing up as a member of a minority group within the United States is learning that America is not the perfect portrait of equality opportunity and freedom that some make it out to be In Toni Cade Bambaras short story The Lesson Bambara shows one womens attempt to show a group of poor black kids the inequalities that exists within our so called equal society A group of black children are taken on a field trip to an upscale part of New York City Fifth Avenue an exclusive and expensive shopping district frequented primarily by whites The guide of the field trip is an intelligent young black woman with a college degree named Miss Moore Miss Moore lives near the children and takes responsibility in the education of the children On the trip Miss Moore takes the children to the very famous toy store FAO Schwartz There the children are exposed to rooms full of toys which cost more than their parents annual incomes and to all the trappings of luxury that they never knew existed After entering the store the stories narrator a street-smart girl named Sylvia begins to wonder what Miss Moores goal is in bringing the children to a toy store In fact I believe that Miss Moore has brought the children to the store to teach them a lesson And by teaching the lesson she introduces the topic by asking the children if they know what real money is what their interpretation of real money is Sylvia wonders sarcastically if Miss Moore thinks its only poker chips or monopoly papers we
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