Roland and Ronald Woodfolk

Jefferson Elementary, Venable Elementary, Burley High School, Lane High School


The Woodfolk twins were part of the Charlottesville Twelve – the first Black students to integrate Charlottesville schools. From Jefferson, they went to Venable in the seventh grade, then to the all-Black Burley, and spent 10-12 th grades at Lane. There, they both participated in football and track. They refer to their childhood times at Washington Park as their “babysitter” because they spent most of their weekend days playing sports there, where they were nurtured by a strong, coherent community. Ronald claimed: Sports “was an outlet for us, and it enabled us to cope, and also gave a foundation as working together as a team, and also provided a good work ethic for not just sports, but when you go out to the world.” Coach Theodose was fundamental to the team’s success at Lane and that success was important as a mechanism for support for integration. Said Roland: “as a team, we all got along ….we worked well together, we had a goal: winning. And we played for a coach that was about winning, about discipline, knowing your assignments, and you go out and execute.  We executed; we went undefeated.  And I think that brought the town together more than anything else.” It wasn’t always easy—the brothers talk about experiences on the road, playing other schools. After high school, they both went to Hampton University and have built successful careers in business and industry.

Full Interview