In doing research for my upcoming novel Bootlegger Haze, I discovered some interesting information about normal schools. Normal schools were modeled after the teacher training schools in Prussia, Holland, and France. These schools were in existence since the late 1600’s and were called “Normal Schools,” after the French “Ecole Normale.”
By the early 1800’s, normal schools were popping up across the United States. To ensure the success of a republican form of government, education reformers believed in an educated society. They advocated that every child should have access to education. The normal schools were established and were publicly funded to train students (primarily women) to teach in the common schools.
The Colored Teacher’s State Association had established the Louisiana State Normal School in the late 1800’s to prepare colored teachers to teach in the colored public schools. Two characters, Marie Claire Jefferson and Tulane Broussard, from my upcoming novel, Bootlegger Haze, attend the Lousiana State Normal School. It is now Northwestern State University.
Marie Claire and Tulane act as typical students who have lived very sheltered lives, enjoying their freedom from their parents too much, so much so that they are expelled from the school for constant violations of school policy. Unwilling to tell their parents of their expulsion, they must figure out a way to survive in New Orleans on their own. Of course, they discover the unsavory side of New Orleans and are immersed in the debauchery and raunchiness of Madame Gypsy’s Pleasure Parlor….
Stay tuned for more updates from Bootlegger Haze.