Why is the movie titled Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee?

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The HBO film Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is based on a book by the same name.  The book is by Dee Brown and was published in 1970.  Dee's book and the film center around the injustices that the Native Americans endured.  The title comes from a line in a poem by Stephen Vincent Benét.  The poem is called "American Names."

Wounded Knee was the site of a massacre in what is today South Dakota.  During the massacre, American Calvary troops shot and killed over one hundred Lakota.  The massacre stemmed from a disagreement over a rifle.  In the Benét poem, the last lines read:

You may bury my body in Sussex grass,

You may bury my tongue at Champmedy.

I shall not be there.

I shall rise and pass.

Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.

This last line of the poem is where the title of the book and movie come from.  It is also said that the family of Crazy Horse buried his heart and bones in the area of the Wounded Knee massacre.


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