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The Forgotten Americans Of The Virgin Islands Are Still Without Power, But Full Of Hope

The people of the U.S. Virgin Islands are using social media to fend for help. 

As the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria continued to haunt Puerto Rico, Americans on the Virgin Islands have been left with little to no resources.

Over the weekend (Oct. 13), a Twitter account ran by residents of St. John reminded everyone that the island is still without power. "St. John, an island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has been without power since September 6."

Last month, Hurricane Irma hit St. John Sept. 7 with Maria's wrath arriving 14 days later. Shortly after the storm, 1,200 military personnel were sent to the island.

"When your roof starts to peel away and you are inside there and then your windows start to go and the walls start collapsing when you are in that structure — that is awful. The emotional ride of going through any hurricane is devastating," U.S.V.I. Gov. Kenneth Mapp, told Fox News last month. "You begin to think it is abating and then it comes back more ferocious. You begin to believe your structure is going to hold and in the last two hours it begins to disappear and then water comes through everywhere."

President Donald Trump was expected to meet with Governor Mapp to discuss relief efforts on St. Thomas, but instead spoke to him aboard the assault ship Kearsarge off Puerto Rico. Weeks later, Trump bragged about the Islands while forgetting the 103,000 across the islands were Americans."The Virgin Islands and the President of the Virgin Islands, these are people that are incredible people, they suffered gravely and we're be there, we're going to be there, we have really, it is not even a question of a choice," he flubbed during a Values Voter Summit in Washington last week.

The New York Times reports leaders may remain coy on asking for money because of the $2 billion it owes creditors. “I’m so at a loss right now and really trying to hold it together because we were on the brink before this, in terms of our finances,” Representative Stacey Plaskett, the Virgin Islands delegate to Congress, told The Times. 

Last week, The VI Hurricane and Resiliency Advisory Group was launched to help with the tracking of private donations and a creation of a recovery plan to resuscitate the islands' most important revenue–tourism.

Little has been reported on the well being of the people, but social media has proven to be a safe haven for those on the islands. After @NewsofStJohn's tweet went viral, their blog published several videos that showed ravage on the island.

Commenters between the videos were happy to see the island getting its look back, but residents have more on their minds than flowers finding their roots again.

Facebook groups like St. Croix Maria Check InSt. Croix, 00820 USVI and Government House - US Virgin Islands feature updates on programs, curfews, GoFundMe's and relief programs to help across the islands. Residents are also using their pages to post about goods and and updates for their fellow neighbor.

In an op-ed published with The TimesPeter Bailey shared how neighbors helping neighbors is the best relief the island has gotten since September. "At one point as the storm shrieked, I wondered if the world was ending and we, in America’s sole majority-black territory, were going to have the misfortune of being the first to go," he says in the Oct. 11 piece titled, Has America Forgotten The Virgin Islands?

Bailey speaks of neighbors and his elderly mother using machetes and other tools to help rebuild their home located in Nazareth, St. Thomas.

"My 74-year-old mother, machete in hand, was in her garden clearing brush away from her beloved mango, star fruit and soursop trees. “I’m just happy the rest of the roof remained! God is good!” she called up to me. Her gray Afro made her now look royal," he said. Like many others on the island, Bailey has found comfort through the spirit of his neighbor instead of any FEMA or national guardsmen.

Retired basketball player Tim Duncan made his return to St. Croix a number of times in September, feeding just over 2,000 people. "I wouldn't have wanted any of this to happen," Duncan told Bleacher Report. "But it's been a good thing for me to come here and give back. Without what happened—without the storms—I probably would have just stayed in my little shell. There was no way around it though: Helping had to mean stepping out of my comfort zone."

So what happens now? No one seems to know, but hope and the hand of a friendly neighbor are giving Americans the hope they've begged for from No. 45 and their government. For now, it's a dangerous waiting game with thousands of lives at stake.

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Michael B. Jordan To Star In 'gen:LOCK' Anime Series

Michael B. Jordan will be lending his lady-loved voice to a new anime series,"gen:LOCK," for Rooster Teeth.

In the new series, Jordan will be playing Julian Chase. The show is described as "50 years in the future, where an oppressive authoritarian force threatens to conquer the world. So a daring team is recruited to pilot a new form of weaponized neuroscience that powers devastating mecha. However, this team must be willing to sacrifice everything to save the world," according to Shadow and Act.

“He is willing to lay his life on the line for the greater good. He had a lot of heroic qualities to him that made it easy for me to be like ‘cool, I want to voice this guy,’” Jordan told SyfyWire about his reason for picking the role.

Way too excited to show you guys the final trailer for #genLock all my real followers/fans know how much I’m an Anime fan and this show fulfilled one of my life-long dreams of voicing a character on an animated show. Jan 26th it’s going to get crazy on @roosterteeth

A post shared by Michael B. Jordan (@michaelbjordan) on Jan 17, 2019 at 9:38am PST

The first two episodes of gen:LOCK will premiere on Jan. 26 on Rooster Teeth, which is available on iOS, Andriod, Xbox One, and Apple TV. ('s memberships start at $4.99 a month.) Watch the trailer for the series up top.

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Kerry Washington To Star In And Produce 'American Son' Netflix Adaptation

Kerry Washington's Broadway banger, American Son, will be making its on-screen debut with Netflix.

Steven Pasquale (The Good Wife), Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl), Eugene Lee (A Soldier’s Play) and Washington will be reprising their groundbreaking roles from the thought-provoking Broadway production. Kenny Leon, who served as the play's original director, will be directing the picture and producing the film alongside the former Scandal actress.

The 41-year-old made the announcement on Monday night (Jan. 21) while appearing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where she gushed over her role as Kendra and the play's exploration into an interracial families search for their missing son in a Florida police station.

I love you @jimmyfallon 😍 thanks for letting me come on @FallonTonight and share this thrilling news about #AmericanSonPlay 😍😍😍😍

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 22, 2019

Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland said in a statement, “We are honored to work with Kerry Washington, [director] Kenny Leon, [writer] Christopher Demos-Brown and the entire cast to bring this story from the Broadway stage to our members around the world.”

The American Son production will come to a close this Sunday (Jan. 27) after a two month running at the Booth Theatre beginning in Nov. 2018. Watch Kerry Washington gush over American Son below.


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Meek Mill, Jay-Z Push Criminal Justice Initiative REFORM

Since Meek Mill's release from prison in April 2018, the Philadelphia native embarked on a new journey to help those unjustly trapped by the criminal justice system while fighting his own personal case.

On Wednesday (Jan. 23), the MMG rapper, Jay-Z, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, social activist Van Jones, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin and more announced the launch of REFORM, an organization that aims to tackle the criminal justice system's perils by implementing effective strategies to revamp its current state. Jones will also serve as CEO.

Part of the organization will highlight the establishment of a fair parole/probation system, a mandate that has followed Meek Mill since his late teens. Recently, the "Trauma" artist expressed his desire to end his parole, which he's been under state supervision for over a decade.

I just wanna get off probation I been on this shit my whole adult life ... 11 years of asking for permission 🤯

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 22, 2019 getting beat up by the cops like this was normal where I come from .... a cop beat me worse than this and I got charged for hurting his hand ... I guess I hit his hand wit my face too hard and that was assault 🤷🏾‍♂️

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 22, 2019

On the subject of Mill's case, Jay-Z penned an op-ed for the New York Times where he highlights the country's crippling parole system. "The specifics of Meek's case inspired me to write this. But it's time we highlight the random ways people trapped in the criminal justice system are punished every day," he wrote in late 2017. "The system treats them as a danger to society, consistently monitors and follows them for any minor infraction — with the goal of putting them back in prison."

Pulling together a team to be the voice for the voiceless #REFORM @REFORM #FightDifferent

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 23, 2019

Congratulations and thank you to @REFORM CEO, @VanJones68 #FightDifferent #REFORM

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 23, 2019

HAPPENING NOW: @MeekMill and Jay-Z join forces with leaders in the music, sports and business world to announce the launch of, REFORM Alliance, a new criminal justice reform organization.

Watch on Facebook live:

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 23, 2019

Watch this video #REFORM

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 23, 2019

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