Southfield resident Anthony Brogdon is a businessman turned historian, filmmaker, author and podcast host.

Southfield resident Anthony Brogdon is a businessman turned historian, filmmaker, author and podcast host.

Photo provided by Anthony Brodgon

Southfield resident aims to tell the ‘good’ Black history

By: Kathryn Pentiuk | Southfield Sun | Published December 9, 2023


SOUTHFIELD — Southfield resident Anthony Brogdon is sharing what he calls “good” Black history on his YouTube channel, Strong Inspirations, where he interviews guests from around the world who share their connections to Black history.

Since Brogdon launched his channel in 2020, he has spoken with over 500 guests from Africa, Australia, the UK, Canada and the Caribbean, and he has amassed over 2,000 subscribers.

Some of his noteworthy guests include Kenneth B. Morris, the great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass; A’Lelia Bundles, the great-great-granddaughter of Madam CJ Walker; Dan Duster, great-great-grandson of Ida B. Wells; Kevin Lloyd, the son of National Basketball Association first Black player Earl Lloyd; and William Anderson, who was jailed with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Brogdon hopes to shed light on Black history through these inspirational stories and change the narrative, especially since he said that shock is the most common reaction he gets when he shares positive stories during public appearances.

“If I can put it into a percentage, I would say about 70% of it is that some people don’t want people to hear these stories because they’re too inspiring and motivating. And so the land that only wants to tell one side of it to make the other person, the prey, feel inadequate. The other part is that many people have not investigated these other authors. There are people who have done it. There are books out there on such people. It’s just that it’s not sensationalized, and the more demeaning stories are.”

He added that sometimes people don’t believe the success stories of Black people in history, and he’s received backlash after presentations for not focusing on the typical narrative surrounding Black history. His reasoning for focusing on the good is that he believes that the negative is often perpetuated, especially in academic settings. His aim is to empower and uplift the Black community by sharing positive stories.

In addition to public speaking and Strong Inspirations, Brogdon is an author and filmmaker. The native Detroiter and Oakland University graduate with a degree in marketing found himself chronicling history by “happenstance” he said.

Brogdon explained that he had always been fascinated by Black business history. After attending a panel held by Lewis Business College that featured business owners in their 70s and 80s who had been operating their businesses since the 1950s, Brogdon found some footage from the ‘50s and decided to become a filmmaker.

He produced his first film in 2014, a documentary called “The Great Detroit.” Drawing from his experience at the 1994 panel of Black business owners, Brogdon released another documentary in 2017, “Business in the Black,” which details the rise of Black businesses in America. The film toured in over 40 U.S. cities as well as Toronto, Canada, and London, England.

After releasing “Business in the Black,” Brogdon was inspired to create the “Black Business Book” in 2019, which was based on the documentary and includes over 200 facts about Black business history in the U.S.

Brogdon said he is passionate about educating and inspiring youth, which prompted him to create a children’s book, “They Did It,” which is adapted from a screenplay he wrote with the same title and on the Black Business Book. “They Did It” has no mention of slavery and features 30 successful Black business owners who lived during the 1800s. Currently, Brodgon is working on releasing a film based on “They Did It,” which will be out by February or March.

Naima Shamborguer, one of Brogdon’s latest guests on Strong Inspirations, is a native Detroiter, a jazz vocalist, a 2020 Kresge Artist Fellow and the creator of Sister Strings, a project that focuses on music and education tracing the history of string instruments, vocals and percussion in the Black community from slavery to modern day.

Shambourguer appeared in an episode titled “Do you know how an ancestor can influence generations?” She shared her family’s history in education and music. Her account is based on a memoir that her grandfather, who was one of 13 children, wrote to keep the family’s history intact through the generations. She said that her family’s history is in The E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts at the Detroit Public Library.

“There’s a lot of history from even when I was born in the ’40s. I talk to young people now, and they have no idea. They have no idea what neighborhoods were like or how things were when we grew up,” she said.

Shamborguer stated that being able to share her family’s legacy on Brogdon’s show was a wonderful feeling.

“I’m very proud to have been born then and that I can share my history with him,” she said.

Brogdon added that his favorite part about interviewing people on his show is sharing those stories that might not be told elsewhere.

“I’m chronicling history. I’m putting people — and many of them might not ordinarily get in a media or video scenario — and now their story is forever ingrained in some format and it can be seen however many years YouTube is around,” he said.

For more information on Brogdon's projects, visit and

For more information on Shamborguer’s upcoming performances and music, visit