Related archival collection: The Charles E. Qualls papers, which date from 1899 to 1988 and measure 3.02 linear feet, document the career of pharmacist and community organizer Charles E. Qualls. The papers are comprised of correspondence, documents from community organizations, magazines, newspaper clippings, photographs, and scrapbooks. Contact the Archivist for more information.
Charles E."Doc" Qualls (1912-1984) was born in Newbern, Tennessee and raised in South Bend, Indiana. A graduate of Howard University School of Pharmacy, he operated a pharmacy and drug store on Nichols Avenue in Washington, D.C. The Anacostia Pharmacy, which opened in 1941, was a popular gathering spot until it closed in 1984. Qualls was also a community activist, winning several awards and receiving widespread recognition for his work in the community. He played an important role in organizing efforts to build a hospital in Southeast Washington, D.C. (the Greater Southeast Community Hospital); he was part of the effort to repair the Frederick Douglass Home; he helped create a network of Anacostia and Barry Farm civic organizations; and he founded both the Washington Pharmaceutical Association and the Anacostia Business and Professional Association. At one time, he was said to belong to 25 civic organizations. Because of these and other activities, Doc Qualls was well-known throughout the city, but he held a special place in the heart of residents of Far Southeast.
Anacostia Oral History Project, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The Charles E. Qualls papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of the estate of Charles E. Qualls.
African American neighborhoods
African American pharmacists
Frederick Douglass Memorial Home
Permanent Collection, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum