Digital Commonwealth

David Entin Papers, 1966-2015 (Bulk: 1966-1968)

University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries Special Collections and University Archives

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A worker in the struggle against poverty and racism for five decades, David Entin was raised in New York City environs until his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1953 when he was twelve years old. He began his anti-poverty work with the North Carolina volunteers, a pioneering early effort where he worked with low-come families in Durham, NC. David then joined the North Carolina Fund, a statewide Ford Foundation project where he helped develop and wrote the first rural anti-poverty program under the new Economic Opportunity Act for Craven County (New Bern), NC. From there he helped start the initial anti-poverty program in Jacksonville. His new career was interrupted by Vietnam War service with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Stationed in Quang Ngai Province, a Vietcong stronghold, and Da Nang between 1966 and 1968, Entin oversaw redevelopment projects and while not caught up in the fight itself, he was charged with assessing damage in Region One following the Tet Offensive. After returning home to Florida, Entin resumed his antipoverty work. The collection centers around 51 detailed letters describing the two years that David Entin spent in Vietnam working with USAID; these letters serve as a diary recording Entin’s daily activities and observations and accompany several hundred slides and photographs. Also included in the collection are a series of short autobiographical essays that detail his childhood, early career, and service in Vietnam.

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