The Washington Post is reporting that Prometheans, Inc., a World War II black veterans group, is disbanding because membership in the organization has declined. Sarah Kahn reports that the veterans — most of them nearing 90 — friends and family members made toasts and speeches at the group’s banquet in Silver Spring, Md. D.C. chapter President Friason Travis, 90, called the organization a “guiding light and power.”
The Prometheans, as they call themselves, were among the African Americans who fought for their country in World War II. They were originally a group of about 350 young black students, chosen by the military because of their IQ levels of 120 or higher. They were sent to Howard University in 1943 to complete a four-year engineering degree in 18 months through the Army Specialized Training Program, which at that time offered training at colleges throughout the United States.
But the program was dissolved only a year later, and many of the untrained college kids were thrown onto the Italian war front as infantrymen, cavalrymen, medics and other “ground pounders,” said Bryant Tate of Silver Spring, a member of the organization and son of one of the veterans.
But the young black soldiers bonded. And after the war, the survivors pledged to keep in touch as long as they could. They named themselves after the Greek god Prometheus, meaning “fore-thinker.”
The nonprofit Prometheans Inc. officially started around 1960. It has a scholarship fund for Howard University graduating seniors. In decades past, the group held community-service events to help young black children in the Washington, D.C., area receive an education and find jobs.
This organization has made a major contribution to society. To have done so as a national organization for 51 years is exemplary. These men are trailblazers and are leaving a legacy of which this nation can be proud.
Read more at the Washington Post.
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