Darlene Quarles headshot

Darlene Quarles Robinson

Rose Hill Elementary School, Stone Robinson Elementary, Jack Jouett Junior High School, Albemarle High School

Darlene Quarles Robinson: I was one of two Black girls on the drill team at Virginia Tech.

Phyllis Leffler: Was that difficult for you? 

Darlene Quarles Robinson: Yes, because it was like how many thousands of people at that school? But it was one of those things, where again, it was they wanted some Black people to try out, and I made it.  

Phyllis Leffler: What did the drill team do? 

Darlene Quarles Robinson: We performed at half-time at the football games.  

Phyllis Leffler: So did you get up on people’s shoulders? 

Darlene Quarles Robinson: Not me.  You had the pom-poms and all that and once again, my lack of rhythm got me into trouble sometimes, keeping in step.  I do recall that while I was on that drill team, we did have a little mini protest with the playing of the Dixie song.  Because we were in a parade, and we had to march down Main Street in Blacksburg, and we just marched.  We didn’t do any of the routine.  I recall a child was asking a parent, why aren’t they doing what everyone else is doing.  I don’t recall what she told him, but so, it made a little bit of an impact.