on/albert lawson hancock

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Transcending race to pay tribute to a hero

It took the newspapers a few days to get Albert Lawson Hancock's name right after he died trying to save two men on Milwaukee's East Side. When Hancock was alive his employer didn't even bother trying to get it right, choosing instead to call the quiet, hard-working black man "Snowball." That was par for the course in 1903, when African Americans were objects of condescension by the white establishment.