What kept blacks during slavery from returning to Africa?
Black people were stolen from their land and would have been killled. Don't forget that when slavery ended they built ship to go back to Africa but the white man destroyed them ( look it up). Black people's ancestors built this country while others took credit so they have EVERY right to be here.
What kept white people from not stealing this land fron the natives, lying about the past, trying to rewrite history and commiting genocide? What keeps Asians from not staying in Asian countries?
Stop the obsesison with black people.
Are you asking what kept free black Americans from going to Africa during the time of slavery? I'm going to assume that's what you're asking, since the reasons that slaves didn't/couldn't book passage to Europe and then Africa should be obvious.
Here's the thing: virtually every black person in America at that time was descended from people who had been brought here against their will, often people whose families had been separated multiple times, whose initial pairings were often between slaves with very different countries of origin and often mutually unintelligible native languages. In other words, within a generation or two of the end of the transatlantic slave trade in the early 1800's-and much earlier for the majority-black Americans simply didn't have a home in Africa to return to. They were English-speaking multi-ethnic Americans, and most were still quite poor, so it would have been no small expense to pack up the family and buy passage to a European port where one could find a ship to "Africa". Even for highly literate people with a support network in place, this would not be easy. For the minimally literate members of a tiny American minority it would be near impossible.
But say they get to "Africa". What then? They don't speak any of the local languages, don't have a kinship group upon which to rely for protection, don't have land or resources or even a remote understanding of the local ecology or farming techniques or business culture. They're just foreigners showing up in a strange land.
This all seems really obvious to me.
Did you really ask this question?
Firstly, they had nothing to return to. Their fellow Africans had enslaved them and sold them to the Bukra. They should return, to experience this again? And of course they were slaves, most of them, and not really free to go. Some did return, like in Liberia and Sierra Leone, only to experience hostility from the indigenous people. Both colonies required European protection. However, nothing stops Black Americans from returning to Africa now, except common sense.
They weren't free to leave, there were armed men dedicated to recapturing escaped them and no ship heading for Africa would give passage to an escaped slave. Also, after one generation as slaves, they weren't captured citizens of the countries where their parents came from, they were Americans, albeit only counting as 3/5 of a person, but Americans nonetheless.
An entire ocean. An army of slave catching patrols and militia. Hunting dogs and armed men on horseback. Informers among the slaves themselves. Harsh laws that said you were punished with whipping the first time, losing an ear the second time, castration the third time, and leaving the state could even get you executed.