April Rosenblum is a Jewish writer who studies race, class, Jewish identity and movement building in the 20th century.
As a child of activists in Philadelphia, she was raised in the city’s interconnected movements for peace, economic and racial justice. Her warm experiences there were tempered by her upbringing in a Black neighborhood, where the effects of race-based economic disenfranchisement, the drug trade, policing and mass incarceration were acutely felt. Her work against police brutality, political imprisonment and for anti-racist education grew out of the skills and history she learned from veteran local Black Power and human rights organizers, and from the Jewish family stories passed down by her parents.
In the aftermath of 9/11, her concern for Muslim, Arab and Palestinian communities sparked the interest in Jewish history and identity that now defines her writing and scholarship. In 2007, she published the widely-read pamphlet The Past Didn't Go Anywhere, an educational tool to help Left movements better understand and resist antisemitism. Its publication led The Jewish Forward to recognize April as one of the year’s fifty most influential Jews in the US.
April is interested in how relations of domination reproduce themselves in political, communal and interpersonal life. She is known for writing about complex issues with sensitivity to people on many sides of conflicts. Her work has been called “shockingly inclusive.” She is currently researching a microhistory of Black/Jewish relations in the twentieth century United States.