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"You wanna save the city, that's good on you. But we were surviving before you got here, and we'll be surviving after you move on."
— Angela Cook to Jessica Pearson

Angela Cook is a nursing assistant, the daughter of Lillian Cook and a paternal cousin of Jessica Pearson.

History

Angela is the daughter of Lillian Cook and the paternal niece of Alan Pearson. Angela grew up around her cousin, Jessica Pearson, with the pair both living poor, Angela living in a public housing apartment with her mother in the North Park neighborhood, on Avalon and 81st Street. At some point, Alan became a successful surgeon and took his wife and children with him as they moved out of Chicago, eventually becoming wealthy. Angela continued to live in the public housing apartment with Lillian, and soon gave birth to two sons, Cory and Mark, who lived with her in the apartment as well.

After Jessica moved back to Chicago, she discovered that the Cook family were being forced to evict from their public housing in North Park by Pat McGann, a property developer who, with the blessing of Mayor Bobby Novak, wished to place a building where the housing complex was located. With Alan having recently passed away, Jessica wished to reconnect with her family and contacted Lillian, offering to represent her. After being disbarred and having her law license revoked, Jessica paid Angela a visit, where Angela accused Jessica of using Lillian to benefit her reputation, which Jessica refuted. Angela then told her cousin that she held no ill-will towards her for Alan abandoning Lillian to poverty, but believed that Jessica was similar to Alan.[1]

A few days later, Angela tends to her patient, a young woman named Imani. Imani mentions that the lady watching her is creeping her out, and Angela turns out swiftly to see Jessica standing there. Jessica asks to speak to Angela for a minute, and as Angela heads outside, Jessica informs her that she is dropping her mother Lillian's lawsuit since the mayor offered her a job if she did so and that she took the job. Angela is vexed at Jessica selling out her family to further her career and states that she has to find herself and her family a new place to live. Jessica replies that Lillian's lawsuit would've taken months but that the end result was going to be them losing, whereas with her new job, she would be able to save more than just one housing project. Angela refuses to believe her, claiming that Jessica is not even aware of the issues that happen in the street, as she was unaware of a hunger strike that is currently happening, and adds that while she herself did not put any stock in Jessica, Lillian had put her hopes in her niece, only to realize that Jessica hadn't broken the news to Lillian yet, and retorts that she would not do Jessica's dirty work and tell Lillian the truth on Jessica's behalf.

Shortly after, Angela prepares for Imani's dismissal, explaining that she is not a nurse yet but rather a Certified Nursing Assistant, as she couldn't attain the education needed. Imani explains that Jessica paid her a visit the night before and is using her power to help keep the schools open, much to Angela's displeasure. Angela returns home from work and talks to Lillian about Jessica giving false promises to the children in the ER about keeping their school open. When Lillian defends Jessica, Angela snaps at her mother, claiming that Jessica is all talk and that the sooner she realizes it, the better.[2]

The next day, Angela goes home and notifies her family that she has passed a nursing test with colors. She tries to celebrate with pancakes for her sons, only to see that the eggs are missing even though they were there that morning. Lillian explains that she brought them to Jessica's house to make her breakfast, much to Angela's displeasure, who then makes chicken nuggets for her sons instead. Shortly after, Angela heads to Jessica's apartment building, waiting outside for her. As Jessica arrives, Angela gives her the money for the groceries Jessica had bought for them in the interim, claiming that she does not need Jessica's charity and that she could afford to feed her own kids, adding that she and her family were fine before Jessica arrived and would continue to be fine once Jessica left. As Angela gives Jessica a wad of cash and walks away, a hidden photographer takes several photos of Jessica holding the money.[3]

The next day, Angela heads home after discovering that her apartment's 90-day eviction period has been shortened to 7. She attempts to talk to her mother about it, only to notice Jessica is present. After Jessica leaves, Lillian asks her daughter what her issue is, explaining that she called Jessica because she thought Jessica could help, only for Angela to respond that before Jessica moved to Chicago, Lillian would have called her instead.

The next day, Angela begins protesting, causing the city to fear she may file a new lawsuit against them. At City Council, Angela attempts to talk about being evicted although she is ordered to leave. As the security guard ushers her out, she encounters Jessica, who asks her to talk. However, as Angela agrees, Jessica gets a phone call from Novak. Jessica tells Angela to wait and steps out to answer the call, although Angela leaves.

Jessica heads to Angela's apartment after she manages to have the 90-day period reinstated. However, as she gives the curt notification and prepares to leave, Angela invites her inside. Jessica explains that she is trying to connect with them, which Angela acknowledges. Jessica adds that she wishes to get to know her sons, Mark and Cory; Angela jokingly offers her a chance to babysit, which Jessica seriously accepts, and Angela laughingly replies that she would take Jessica up on the offer someday.[4]

The next day, Angela returns to her apartment after work and notices a house listing on the table. Lillian explains that Jessica wants to buy them a house, but Angela refuses to accept, not being a fan of Jessica trying to save them with her money and notifying her mother that she wishes to buy a house for her and her sons on her own, without Jessica's help. As she leaves, she tells Lillian to inform Jessica of her refusal. Jessica then goes to see Angela that night at the laundromat after Lillian paid her a visit at the office to mention not only Angela's refusal, but that Angela had warned her not to get mixed up with certain dangerous people. Jessica inquires into who the dangerous crowd was, mentioning the murder of Carl Jeffries. Angela believes a gang known as the Four Corners Marquette may have information on Carl and Jessica immediately heads out to locate them. Angela cuts her off, citing the danger, but agrees to tag along with Jessica, even accepting Jessica's offer of buying them a house. However, Angela adds that she shouldn't dress fancy for the meeting, and Jessica replies that she can do that, going home to get changed.

Angela and Jessica head to a convenience store where the Four Corners have their headquarters in the back room. The pair go to see Kevin Dawson, to whom Jessica reveals she works for the mayor. Kevin has no desire to share information with someone who works for the mayor, although Angela discloses that she intentionally lost paperwork while in the ER to avoid the police from locating one of their members and that Kevin owes her; Kevin replies that he does not owe Jessica, although Angela vouches for her. Jessica adds that while the mayor cannot do anything for them, she would remember Kevin's assistance and return the favor some day. Kevin asks Angela how come he has never seen Jessica before, to which Angela states that Jessica is from the "bougie side of the family" that does not visit them. Kevin rushes at Jessica and has her purse snatched to check the contents before revealing to the pair that Carl owed a lot of drug dealers, and that they came to collect when they discovered he owned a Range Rover, leading to his death. The two women are then dismissed, and as they leave the convenience store, can't help but laugh when Angela finds out Jessica had pepper spray in her hands and thought that it would be sufficient to protect them from armed thugs.

Jessica goes to the Cook apartment later, where Angela welcomes her warmly and she, along with Lillian, inform Mark and Cory that their cousin Jessica is coming to church with them tonight. This prompts Cory to hug her, overjoying Jessica, who accepts. Jessica tags with them to church and is surprised when she finds out that Angela is the lead singer of the choir, who starts singing.[5]

Appearances


References

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