Veronica Jones headshot

Veronica Jones

Jefferson, McGuffey, Venable, Walker, Burley, Lane.


Veronica Jones, born 1954 in Charlottesville, grew up in the 10th and Page neighborhood.  She remembered it as “like one big happy family.  We felt comfortable with one another, we could go into each other’s house without knocking.” After attending the all Black Jefferson Elementary, she went to McGuffey, Venable and Walker, experiencing first-hand the challenges of desegregating schools as a Black child who was willing to stand up to slights and discrimination. During her high school years, she lived close to Starr Hill Park on Elsom Street Expecting she would go to Jackson P. Burley High School, she reports:  “when they closed down Burley, I cried, I mean literally cried.”    Instead, she was among the first female athletes at Lane High School.  She played both basketball (point guard) and softball between 1969 and 1972 and also participated on the track team.  With the support of teachers and mentors, she attended Norfolk State College, where she majored in Health and Physical Education, was a point guard on the basketball team, and joined ROTC.  At graduation, she received her commission as 2nd Lieutenant.  After 10 ½ years serving with the rank of Captain in the military, she returned to Charlottesville, where discrimination continued to limit her opportunities to be a teacher.  She taught HPER at Buckingham Middle school and later at Buford.  She also coached girls basketball and softball at Charlottesville High School.

Full Interview