Martin presents “Small Town Jews in North Carolina”
April 4, 2006 | Leave a Comment
Dr. James Martin, chair of the Department of Government, History and Justice at Campbell University, recently delivered a presentation titled "Small Town Jews in North Carolina" at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Association of Historians in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Martin is an expert on Jewish settlers in eastern North Carolina. In his lecture, Martin focused on the Jewish communities in the areas of Wilmington, Fayetteville, Greenville, Asheville, Whiteville and other locations. Martin noted that the Jewish communities in small North Carolina towns, though once thriving in the 1950s, have declined in size and number as the younger generation has emigrated to the Triangle, Charlotte and Atlanta areas and further North. Considering the present situation, Martin strongly affirmed the importance of preserving North Carolina's rural Jewish heritage. "My interest in the Jewish community stems in a large part from my own immigrant heritage," said Martin. "Four of my great-grandparents came from Germany in the late 19th century. My work has enabled me to broaden my horizons and examine a portion of North Carolina history that has often been overlooked." Martin is a cum laude graduate of Duke University. He received a Master of Arts degree from East Carolina University and a Ph.D. from Emory University. Prior to joining the Campbell University faculty in 1991, Martin served as a past president of the Association of Historians in North Carolina and was an adjunct professor at both Mount Olive College and Sampson Community College. Martin is currently writing a history of the small town Jewish community and welcomes input from those knowledgeable on the subject.