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St. Croix residents and visitors of all ages recently commemorated the yearly observance of the 1878 “Fireburn”, a violent labor revolt that forever changed the economy, culture, and life of current-day U.S. Virgin Islands. Those in attendance were challenged to answer the question, “Why was there a violent uprising on October 1, 1878, 30 years after slavery had been abolished?’”
According to a release issued Monday, Angela Golden Bryan’s book, “Fireburn The Screenplay: A story of passion ignited”, which is based on the history of St. Croix and is now available on Amazon and other major book sellers, is a historical fiction set in post-emancipation Danish West Indies that seeks to answer this question.
The book, the release says, is written in a refreshing screenplay format and 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 and 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,” she said. “It represents my passion to encourage others to embrace their dreams, connect with others, and just go for it.”
Senate President Myron Jackson lauded the book. “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,” he said.
Because Fireburn The Screenplay depicts a true and significant event in a condensed and entertaining manner, Dr. Gloria Ayot, author and former educator on St. Croix, endorsed Bryan’s Fireburn as a tool for educating individuals 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 “Bryan’s vivid descriptions, humor, and historical references make this a must-read for young and old alike,” she said.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.”
According to the release, Bryan hopes that her fictional tribute will inspire those unfamiliar with the story to research the rich history of the US Virgin Islands. Her dream is to one day see Fireburn the Movie materialize and be filmed there. As well as traveling as an inspirational speaker and appearing as a professional actor, Bryan is working with the Community Foundation of the USVI to establish “The Fireburn Fund.” The purpose of the Fund is to provide monies to enhance the educational, physical, social, cultural and environmental well-being of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the release.
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