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Virgin Islands American


Virgin Islands American

Virgin Islands American
Total population
U.S. Virgin Islands origin

British Virgin Islands origin
Regions with significant populations
South Florida, Orlando, Atlanta, New York City
English, Virgin Islands Creole
Predominantly Christianity, Rastafari

Virgin Islands Americans are Americans from the U.S. Virgin Islands or British Virgin Islands who reside in the continental United States, or continental Americans of Virgin Islands heritage.

Persons born in the U.S. Virgin Islands are United States citizens, and as a result do not go through the legal immigration procedures a typical West Indies immigrant would. However, due to cultural affinities with the Anglophone Caribbean, U.S. Virgin Islanders in the U.S. are considered part of the Caribbean American immigrant community.

It is difficult to determine how many Virgin Islanders reside in the United States. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are 15,014 of U.S. Virgin Islands ancestry residing in the continental United States. However, a count of American residents with "U.S. Virgin Islands ancestry" excludes most U.S. Virgin Islands-born immigrants in the United States. Because of a high incidence of inter-Caribbean migration throughout the 1960s and 1970s, most native-born U.S. Virgin Islanders today are one or two generations removed from other Caribbean islands and would not necessarily define themselves as having "U.S. Virgin Islands ancestry." For example, Tim Duncan is a St. Croix native with Anguillian ancestry.

The population of immigrants of British Virgin Islands origin in the United States is also difficult to determine, as they are not specifically counted in the U.S. Census, but grouped with other Caribbean British Overseas Territories as "British West Indies."


  • History 1
    • Virgin Islands-U.S. Relations (prior 1917) 1.1
    • Harlem Renaissance 1.2
    • Modern contributions 1.3
  • Cultural expression 2
    • Music 2.1
    • Carnival 2.2
    • Organizations 2.3
  • Prominent Virgin Islands Americans 3
    • Actors 3.1
    • Artists 3.2
    • Athletes 3.3
    • Musicians 3.4
    • Political Leaders 3.5
    • Writers and Intellectuals 3.6
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Virgin Islands-U.S. Relations (prior 1917)

Harlem Renaissance

Modern contributions

Cultural expression




Prominent Virgin Islands Americans



  • Austin Hansen (1910–1996), photographer; born on St. Thomas.
  • William Thornton (1759–1828), architect, inventor, painter; born on Jost Van Dyke.



  • Alton Adams (1889–1987), musician, first black bandmaster in the United States Navy; born in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
  • Bennie Benjamin (1907–1989), composer, songwriter, philanthropist; born in Christiansted, St. Croix.
  • Jon Lucien, jazz musician; born on Tortola, raised on St. Thomas.
  • Rock City, a hip hop/songwriting duo of brothers Timothy and Theron Thomas, born on St. Thomas.
  • Sonny Rollins, jazz musician; born in New York, of St. Thomas (mother) and St. Croix (father) descent.

Political Leaders

  • Judah P. Benjamin (1811–1884), Secretary of the Treasury, Confederate States of America; born in Christiansted, St. Croix.
  • Frank Rudolph Crosswaith (1892–1965), socialist and labor leader; born in Frederiksted, St. Croix.
  • Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), first United States Secretary of the Treasury, an American "Founding Father", economist, and political philosopher; born on Nevis, raised on St. Croix.
  • Hubert Henry Harrison (1883–1927), orator, political activist; born on St. Croix.
  • Elizabeth Anna Hendrickson (1884–1946), civil rights leader; born on St. Croix.
  • Casper Holstein (born 1888), humanitarian; born on St. Croix.
  • Roy Innis (born 1934), African-American activist, civil rights leader; born on St. Croix.
  • J. Raymond Jones (1899–1991), political leader, humanitarian; born on St. Thomas.
  • John de Jongh (born 1957), current governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, former financial executive; born on St. Thomas.
  • William Leidesdorff (1810–1848), entrepreneur; born on St. Croix.
  • Ruby Margaret Rouss (1921–1988) first black woman to be elected to preside over a state legislature; born on St. Croix.
  • Terence Todman (born 1926), ambassador; born in the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Ashley L. Totten (1884–1963), union leader, humanitarian; born in Frederiksted, St. Croix.
  • Denmark Vesey (1767–1822), slave revolt leader; born on St. Thomas.
  • David Levy Yulee (1810–1886), U.S. Senator; born on St. Thomas.

Writers and Intellectuals

  • Barbara Christian (1943–2000), educator, feminist critic; born on St. Thomas.
  • Gus Edwards, playwright; born on Antigua, raised and education in St. Thomas.
  • Geraldo Guirty, journalist, historian; born on St. Thomas.

See also


  1. ^ "Detailed Tables - American FactFinder". 
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