About The City

The City tells true stories of how power works in urban America. Season 1 begins in Chicago, 1990. Winter is turning into spring, and in Chicago, that means construction season. After years of disinvestment, highways are rebuilt, old buildings demolished, new parks and skyscrapers erected. But all that rubble has to go somewhere, and its destination isn’t a landfill or a recycling center. It’s a pair of vacant lots in a black, working-class neighborhood called North Lawndale.

At the helm of this operation is a guy sporting a Cosby sweater, manicured nails, and underworld connections. His name is John Christopher, and over the next decade and beyond, the story of what John Christopher does on this lot—and how North Lawndale fights against him—is a tour de force through the underbelly of Chicago. Aldermen get indicted. An FBI investigation goes awry. A neighborhood gets polluted with impunity. And a community’s resilience is tested—all unfolding under the spectre of racism in America.

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