On September 6, 2017, maximum-strength Category 5 Hurricane Irma slammed into the Caribbean islands of St. John and St. Thomas. Less than a month later, Hurricane Maria barreled through the region with equal intensity.

When the rain and wind died down, the three major territories that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands were devastated, leaving a predominantly Black population in despair. 

In the days following the monstrous storms, a cohort of Black women emerged with one mission — prioritize the people largely ignored by mainstream media and restore the American territory to its former glory. 

Mona Barnes, Deanna James, Diane Parrott, Darice Plaskett, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett and Anita Roberts rolled up their sleeves and got to work. From moving hospital patients to safety to being a voice for islanders, these dynamic women exemplified the very spirit of #BlackGirlMagic.

Take a look at their story.

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