ISAAC Bookshelf

Scholarly and Popular Books by Our Members!

The ISAAC Bookshelf showcases the work, scholarly and popular, of  ISAAC members on issues related to the African American child in school.  If the book is currently available online via the, we will make every attempt to include it on the Bookshelf. When the book is purchased through our site or through our store, it will increase the revenues of ISAAC and assist us in connecting African American children to the future.

Submitting Your Work to the Bookshelf

If you are a current member of ISAAC and would like to have your  work displayed on The ISAAC Bookshelf, please contact Janice Hale at  If your work is out of print and you are interested in publishing it in an electronic format, then we can assist you in working with your publisher, if necessary, to include the work here and to sell it through the ISAAC store.

Learning While Black

Creating Educational Excellence for African American

by Janice E. Hale - Education - Published 2001 - 256 pages

In Learning While Black Janice Hale argues that educators must look beyond the cliches of urban poverty and teacher training to explain the failures of public education with regard to black students. Why, Hale asks simply, are black students not being educated as well as white students?

Hale goes beyond finger pointing to search for solutions. Closing the achievement gap of African American children, she writes, does not involve better teacher training or more parental involvement. The solution lies in the classroom, in the nature of the interaction between the teacher and the child. And the key, she argues, is the instructional vision and leadership provided by principals. To meet the needs of diverse learners, the school must become the heart and soul of a broad effort, the coordinator of tutoring and support services provided by churches, service clubs, fraternal organizations, parents, and concerned citizens. Calling for the creation of the "beloved community" envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Hale outlines strategies for redefining the school as the Family, and the broader community as the Village, in which each child is too precious to be left behind.

"In this book, I am calling for the school to improve traditional instructional practices and create culturally salient instruction that connects African American children to academic achievement. The instruction should be so delightful that the children love coming to school and find learning to be fun and exciting."—Janice Hale



Unbank the Fire

Visions for the Education of African American Children

by Janice E. Hale - Education - Published 1994 - 235 pages

In her highly acclaimed work Black Children, Janice Hale argued that the difficulties many African American children have in school result from differences in learning style that are deeply rooted in African American culture. Now, in Unbank the Fire, Hale asks a new question: What sorts of extraordinary measures are needed to overcome these differences and let black children reach their full potential in school and beyond? Her answer: none.

"I named this book Unbank the Fire," Hale writes, "because I do not believe that extraordinary measures are called for to assist African American children in reaching their potential. All that is necessary is for this society to remove the ashes that historically and presently stunt their development."



Black Children, revised edition

Their Roots, Culture, and Learning Styles

by Janice E. Hale - Education - Published 1986 - 240 pages

American educators have largely failed to recognize the crucial significance of culture in the education of African-American children, contends Janic E. Hale in the revised edition of her groundbreaking work, "Black Children." As African-American children are acculturated at home and in the African-American community, they develop cognitive patterns and behaviors that may prove incompatible with the school environment. Cultural factors produce group differences that must be addressed in the educational process. Drawing on the fields of anthropology, sociology, history, and psychology, Hale explores the effects of African-American culture on a child's intellectual devlopment and suggests curricular reforms that would allow African-American children to develop their intelligence, pursue their strengths, and succeed in school and at work.