"Fireburn: The Screenplay" commemorates St. Croix's history

2018-10-16 | The Virgin Islands Daily News

Oct. 16--St. Croix recently marked the yearly observance of the 1878 Fireburn, a labor revolt that forever changed the course of Virgin Islands history.

With her book, released last month, author and St. Croix native Angela Golden Bryan brings the story to life.

Bryan's "Fireburn: The Screenplay" is a historical fiction set in post-emancipation Danish West Indies. Written in a screenplay format, the book weaves a tale of passion, purpose and revenge, giving a glimpse into the unfair and oppressive working conditions that prompted four women to rally other laborers to say, "No more!"

Bryan was inspired to write about the Fireburn because she grew up hearing tales about her great-great grandmother Moriah's participation in the event.

"This is Caribbean history, but it is also my family's history," said Bryan. "It represents my passion to encourage others to embrace their dreams, connect with others, and just go for it."

Myron D. Jackson, president of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, who wrote the foreword for the book, said, "The desperate cry of Fireburn resonates with any person or people whose freedom, creativity, authenticity, or passion has been squelched by others... it encourages the reader to go back and fetch universal lessons learned, helping create an even better future for all."

Because "Fireburn" depicts a true and significant event in a condensed and entertaining manner, Dr. Gloria Ayot, author and former educator on St. Croix, endorses the book as a tool for educating people on this era of St. Croix's rich history.

"Bryan's vivid descriptions, humor and historical references make this a must-read for young and old alike," she said. "I recommend this book to teachers as well as individuals who would like to know more about the culture and history of the Virgin Islands."

Bryan hopes that her fictional tribute will inspire those unfamiliar with the story to research the rich history of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She hopes to one day see "Fireburn the Movie" materialize and be filmed on St. Croix.

As well as an inspirational speaker and a professional actor, Bryan is working with the Community Foundation of the USVI to establish "The Fireburn Fund" to provide funding to enhance the educational, physical, social, cultural and environmental well-being of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She will be donating proceeds from the book to the fund.

"Fireburn" is available in paperback and ebook versions on Amazon and other major booksellers.