Made up of the stretch of land between two entrenched militarized positions, “No Man’s Land” was the contested ground uncontrolled by either side on the western front of Belgium and France: cratered and muddy from regular bombing, subjected to gas and sniper attacks, and littered with unexploded ordnance. Despite it’s name, men often found themselves navigating-and dying-within this hellish landscape called “No Man’s Land”. The very term conjures up the senseless casualties that happen in wars of attrition.
In Texas alone nearly 1 million men aged 21-30 registered for the draft. Not counting African Americans already in the Army, around 320,000 black men nationally were inducted and their lives transformed: most in the various types of labor and support battalions, some in combat on the western front, and the nations’s Navy. For Texas, over 30,000 men, or a quarter of all Texans called up, were African Americans, despite being only 16% of the Texas population. Several were commissioned officers.