"The North Pole" web comedy looks at displacement of African-Americans in Oakland

- A new web series called "The North Pole" takes a comedic look at the displacement of long-time Oaklanders in a way the creator hopes will shed light on a very serious issue.

"The North Pole" likens African-Americans to polar bears: saying, just as polar bears are being driven out of their natural habitat by climate change, African-Americans are being priced out of their Oakland homes and businesses.

Josh Healey, creator of "The North Pole" said, "it felt like the culture of the neighborhood was changing, like the climate was changing and for me that hit home, and the local community feeling like an endangered species in your own environment."  

According to U.S. Census figures: In 1980, 47 percent of Oakland's population was African-American. The latest census, in 2010, showed that number had dropped to 28 percent.

The series follows three friends as they try to "stay rooted" in Oakland, while newcomers try to get "in on" what's all of a sudden a very hot housing and job market.

Actor Reyna Amaya is from Oakland -- she plays the main character, "Nina" in "The North Pole." Reyna said, it's "frustrating" to see changes happening only after many of Oakland's long-time minority residents have moved out.

She and the creator of "The North Pole" have a plea for everyone new to Oakland:         

"Get to know the environment and the city," said Healey: "this is Oakland -- the city of Black Panthers, Rickey Henderson, like this is a city with history."

The first season of "The North Pole" was just released online last week.

It was financed in part by a Kickstarter campaign and is free to watch.

The creator says he is already at work on season two. For more infomation, click here. 


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