Michael Russell and Kiplyn Primus remember Michael's father, Herman J. Russell, a Black entrepreneur in Atlanta.

Michael Russell and Kiplyn Primus

Michael Russell and Kiplyn Primus

Credit: StoryCorps Atlanta

For over 50 years, native Atlantan Herman J. Russell made it his business to build a Black-owned business empire. Russell died in 2014, but his children continue his work today, with youngest son Michael Russell, Sr. succeeding his father as CEO.

Michael Russell, Sr., of H.J. Russell & Company grew up in the Collier Heights neighborhood, which is an officially-designated historic district on Atlanta’s West Side.  

In this conversation, fellow entrepreneur Kiplyn Primus asks Michael about his not-so-ordinary family.