Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Alkebu Motapa Collection MSS.0317

Descriptive Summary

Creator Motapa, Alkebu
Title: Alkebu Motapa Collection
Dates: 1966-2002, 1986-1989
Dates (Bulk): Bulk, 1986-1989
Identification: MSS.0317
Extent One large flat box. If arranged horizontally, 0.5 linear feet
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Alkebu Motapa, originally known as Carl Eugene More Austin, was born in the Fifth Ward of Houston, about 1947, as per a grant application. He also used the name, "Humanity Chants," on his posters. His autobiography, which does not list a date of birth, states that he attended public schools in Houston. As a youth, he became involved with numerous organizations in human rights movements and worked with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and various agencies. He attended a number of universities such as Texas Southern University, Howard University, UCLA, Charles Drew Medical School, Cleveland, Life, and Sherman Chiropractic Colleges, obtaining a B.A. and an M.A. He also spent time with indigenous natives in the United States, Africa and the West Indies. In 1980, he began work as an Indigenous Natural Health Doctor and Clinical Supervisor, specializing in substance abuse programs. Motapa also founded the Motapa Museum of Natural Health, Science & Fine Arts located in Houston.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains artwork created by Alkebu Motapa and includes photographs, letter-sized copies of posters, post cards and posters duplicated on T-shirts. The remaining items include an application for an Individual Artist Grant, audiotapes, a civil rights lawsuit, a compact disc, correspondence, newspaper clippings, tee shirts, and videotape.


The contents are generally in folders arranged in alphabetical order by title. When known, dates are listed. The first series contains information about the artist and museum founder, Alkebu Motapa. A biography, correspondence and newspaper articles provide information about his life and activities. The second series contains examples of his artwork using the media of posters, post cards and T-shirts.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder

Index Terms

Houston (Tex.)--Police Dept.
Leeland, Mickey
Motapa, Alkebu
Motapa’ Museum of Natural Health, Science & Fine Arts
African American artists
African American men--Texas--Houston
African Americans--Civil rights--Texas--Houston
African Americans—Texas—Houston

Related Material

RG E 073 Afro-American Cultural Museum

SC 0309 African American Heritage Museum of Houston (TSU)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Alkebu Motapa Collection. MSS 0317. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Alkebu Motapa donated the collection in 1999 and 2001.

Processing Information

Processed by: Ron Drees, May, 2008.

Detailed Description of the Collection

General Information

Abstract The folders contain a biography, newspaper articles, applications for grants, photographs of Mayor Brown with Motapa and his work, correspondence and a lawsuit filed against the Houston Police Department. The folders are in alphabetical order.
Box Folder
1 1 Application, Grant, Artist, Individual; 1999
2 Articles, Newspaper; 1966, 2001, 2002; n.d.
3 Biography; Motapa, Alkebu; Articles, Related; 2001
4 Correspondence; 1987-1991, 1998, 1999
5 Health; Fitness, Physical; Management, Stress; n.d.
6 Lawsuit, Civil Rights; Carl E. Moore Austin vs. Houston Police Dept; 1989
7 Protest; Murder, Gillom, Byron; List, Speaker; 1990


Abstract This series consists of the art of Alkebu Motapa. Examples include posters, T-shirts, photographs and various tapes; audio and video. The folders are in alphabetical order.
Box Folder
1 8 Photographs; Motapa; Brown, Mayor; Posters; n.d.
9 Posters, Articles; Leaders, Rights, Human; 1982-2000; n.d.
10 Posters; Concerns, Social; 1986, 1987; n.d.
Posters, Correspondence; Art Donation; Controversy; Police Scandal; 1986-1988, n.d.
Box Folder
1 12 Posters, Photographs; Motapa Museum of Natural Science & Fine Arts; n.d.
13 Posters; Police, Protesting; Charges, Assault; Correspondence; 1982, 1987
14 Posters; Treasures, Art, African American; n.d.
15 T-shirt; Photos, Poster, Leeland, Mickey; 1/2, n.d.
16 T-shirt; Photos, Poster, Leeland, Mickey; 2/2, n.d.
Unfoldered Audio/Visual; Tapes, Audio; Tape, Video, VHS; Disc, Compact; n.d.
Unfoldered Posters, Art; Large, Five; n.d.