Powell (Emmit A.) Papers

Historic image of Emmit Powell
Emmit Powell, circa 1970s, Emmit Powell Papers, MS 228, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library

Emmit A. Powell (1933-2018), gospel radio and television broadcaster, was born December 18, 1933, in Tallahassee, Florida, the son of Emmit Powell Sr. and Ruby Mae Powell. After completing service duties he moved to San Francisco, California, and worked as General Manager of Traffic and Transportation Management for the Emporium-Capwell Company. Beginning in 1972, Powell operated a restaurant known as Powell's Place on Hayes Street in San Francisco.

His radio career began at KPOO-FM in San Francisco in 1973. By 1975, Powell had became the gospel music programmer on KPFA FM which aired his long-running “The Gospel Experience” for over 45 years. In 1976, Powell founded Emmit Powell & the Gospel Elites, performing original gospel music. Powell was also the host of a Sunday morning show, “Emmit Powell’s Gospel Experience,” on community access television.

The Emmit Powell papers include photographs, flyers, programs, and audiovisual material documenting Emmit Powell's career and the Gospel Elites. Included are recordings of radio broadcasts of "The Gospel Experience" on KPFA FM.

Dates: ca. 1970s-2000s

Collection number: MS 228

Creator: Powell, Emmit, 1933-2018

Collection Size: 8 linear feet (8 boxes)

Available at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

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