Erica Qualy on The Lorraine and Memphis



Memphis is awesome!

So I get really excited when I have out of town friends visit. I’ll list all the places around town that we need to go to, free things we can do and see, and I always always always suggest the Lorraine Motel.

While it may not necessarily be one of the most happy and fun sites, the Lorraine Motel is a crucial landmark in Memphis that everyone should visit if they ever get the chance. Some people don’t know that Memphis was a hot-spot of revolution in the 60s. The proverbial pot was boiling over and it was Memphis that was bringing the heat!

Just being there at that site gives you an opportunity to take a minute or two to reflect upon the world, to think about the positive and negative actions of yourselves and of others. What a difference one person can make!

Speaking of, don’t think I forgot about Ms. Jacque. You can’t mention The Lorraine without talking about Ms. Jacqueline Smith. Usually posted just across the street, in rain or shine, she sits in silent protest. She is a LIVING landmark, y’all. If you’ve ever mustered up the courage to talk to her, you’d find that she is a person of very strong conviction. She has been protesting at that spot for almost as long as I’ve been alive- that’s 28 years, folks!

Now, if that isn’t Memphis history, I don’t know what is.

– Erica S. Qualy

I had the delight of meeting Erica and tuned in to what she loves about this city. She formally worked at American Apparel so naturally the National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel was just a brief distance for visitation.

She is a lover and talent of basically all arts. You may have known her as a musician of The Vignettes or perhaps you have witnessed or acquired one of her zines from your local record shop.zines


In addition, she sells great gems through her collection at Takos Treasures, but so far my personal favorite at the moment is her fashion blog which you can browse at


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By Rebecca Phillips

I am a female born in the United States though I generally fear the border patrol. Buy me an ice cream cone and maybe I'll paint you something.

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