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Why didn’t the slaves return to Africa after slavery ended in the USA?
I’m Indian and after reading about history of slavery in the USA, I thought why didn’t the slaves go back to Africa? It’s their homeland.
When India got its independence, the British went back to their country. They didn’t stay and demand to be Indians.
- ?Lv 61 month agoFavorite Answer
You should first grasp that there were less than 30,000 British civilians and troops in India at the time of Independence, while there were four and a half MILLION black people in the USA at the time the 13th Amendment was ratified.
Secondly, you should grasp that NONE of the black people in the USA at that time had ever BEEN in Africa and most knew nothing about it, since their families had been American for up to TWELVE GENERATIONS. The importation of slaves from Africa was banned by the US federal government in 1808, so even the most-recently-arrived families would have three generations between Africa and emancipation. How much to YOU know about the surroundings your great-grandfather grew up in?
Third, you should grasp that during those twelve generations, each one was brainwashed to believe that everything in the world was due to a person's "race", that the African "race" was inherently inferior to the European one, and that, aside from sex, family-rearing, and furtive recreation, they were only suited to do what they were told to do by white people. Let that thought sink in a little. This is what you learnt from your parents AS A MATTER OF SURVIVAL under the conditions of chattel slavery, who learnt it from their parents, who learnt it from their parents, who learnt from theirs, who learnt it from theirs, who learnt it from theirs, (and we're only halfway back this chain of brainwashing at this point).
Fourth, you should grasp that essentially NONE of these four and one half million people had any MEANS or PROPERTY whatsoever.
There were several efforts paid for by American whites to gather up black people and move them (voluntarily or otherwise) to Africa, and at least four "states" were established there to receive them - but in total this only amounted to about half of the number of British who left India.
And the results were predictably bad, since the native Africans were not disposed to giving up territory or having their own societies disrupted by the arrival of uneducated, needy people with foreign mindsets corrupted by twelve generations of such brainwashing, and much of the immunity from tropical diseases had been lost during all those generations in America. Most importantly, it was discovered well before emancipation was ever considered by white America (1820-1840) that enslaved Africans returned to Africa had a death rate due to tropical disease above 50%! So post-Civil War planners of repatriation KNEW that they were sending half of those people to their deaths! So thoughtful of them.
So, basically, the commerce in slave labor in the USA created a huge demographic initially suited to nothing in the land of its creation (other than to endure), and with no more link to Africa than was held by white Americans. There was no place in the world for those people BUT the country where their society, culture, and mindset had been forged...the United States. That was sadly true DESPITE THE FACT that agricultural slavery had left the vast majority of them unprepared to compete with white men for factory jobs in the newly-developing industrial economy, and that consequently the prospect of unemployment, poverty, and crime awaited most of them if they left their former owners' plantations.
Not to your question, but just to bring the story up-to-date from 1865: Those who weren't sent to Africa to die were subsequently restricted in the US to menial labor and ignored (or killed, if they came to anyone's attention) for the next century. The US federal government passed five "Civil Rights" and "Enforcement" acts in the aftermath of the Civil War, intended to confer citizenship and other rights upon the no-longer-enslaved, but they were left up to the states to enforce - which they didn't do. (One was overturned by the Supreme Court.)
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 marked the end of the semi-official ignoring/killing arrangement that by that time had given rise to a separate culture and society of 20 million people, largely unknown to white Americans. But today even 57 years after "fixing" their civil rights law, the Americans are having great difficulty extracting themselves from the "ignore or kill" mindset, as half the white population and the great majority of their police still conceive of unknown black people as "the enemy" (even black police officers, as it turns out).
- garryLv 61 month ago
what a sillly question .. because they couldnt afford to thats why .Same as the whites couldnt afford to go back to europe . White man talk with fork tongue , very true ..
- ALBERTLv 51 month ago
A few probably returned but for the most part they did not. You would think that being slaves they might not necessarily have the means to pay for the boat ticket . But even when they had the mean they probably preferred America and considered it as their home for the most part, a land of opportunity. I am not to sure you know well about Africa but not everywhere there are there opportunities like in America, even with racism still being rampant, in many cases.
- 1 month ago
because by the Time of the Civil war Most were Born in the USA so they could not go back to anywhere they were AMERICANS
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- ReeseLv 51 month ago
why not just travel from Texas to California or go see all 50 states... have you been out the country to more than 5 places. where are they getting these free ships from?
it would be like me telling a hobo how about you go to japan or another country how would they get their.
- ?Lv 41 month ago
Return back to what exactly? There were few, if any, first gen slaves present in the states by then. They don’t know Africa. They didn’t know what tribes they came from. They didn’t speak their tribal languages. They didn’t grow up in any of the tribal African cultures. Africa was an alien place for them. Anyways they didn’t have the money to book a voyage back even if they wanted to go back.
- Anonymous1 month ago
Most were born in the US and had no connection to Africa. Also, the ocean got in the way and most had no mone with which to buy a ticket on a ship. Anyway, they were and are as American as the European immigrant's descendants.
- Anonymous1 month ago
Because they were ABANDONED by lincoln he won the war saved his Job and never cared about the slaves
The war was over a month after the Tyrants death and he did NOTHING to help the free unemployed uneducated and non-citizen ex-slaves
and Lincoln caused the BLM Riots today
- IvanLv 61 month ago
Many of them did return to Africa. I think the countries of Liberia and Monrovia were where most of them went. Millions of them though had no ties whatever to Africa, and didn't want to go there.
- Anonymous1 month ago
The problem with your argument is that the British were the oppressors and the American slaves were the oppressed.
Also there was no continuation of African culture under slavery. It was beaten from them by the overseers. By the end of slavery many slaves were descendants of slaves who came almost 200 years before. They didn’t even know was where their ancestors were from.
Then you have issues of funds. Jim Crow laws and discrimination kept people poor so an international trip wasn’t happening.
Marcus Garvey did a return to Africa movement and it didn’t really do great—American slaves descendants were too removed generationally to make it work.
Finally, American slaves were not entirely African.