There are slaves in every region of the United States, including the South, North, Midwest and Southwest, Pacific Northwest and West.
The most common form of slavery, IMO, is sexual slavery where a woman is forced into prostitution. This is both an internal slave trade and an external slave trade, and sexual slavery includes minors and adult women as slaves. When you see a woman on the street trying to sell her body, or in many escort ads, you are frequently seeing a slave and pimps are their "owners". Pimps keep the women enslaved by financial control (even $500 an hour call girls, if they have a pimp, are required to give everything they make to their pimp. The pimp then gives the woman daily just enough to eat on and pay her living expenses, making her totally dependent on him for her every need.), violence (pimps regularly beat their girls to let them know who is in control. Pimps also beat their women if they do not make quota each night and most quotas mean she has to turn, aka sleep with, a large number of tricks each night.), drugs (not only is a woman hooked on drugs and without money easy to control, since she depends on the pimp for her drug money, but the additional shame of being an addict added to the prostitution makes it difficult for many women to seek help), shame (often the woman is asked if they really think their parents and friends are going to accept her back knowing that she is a common street hooker and a drug addict on top of that) and, paradoxically, the law. Pimps know that most law enforcement officers will treat the victim, the woman slave, as a lawbreaker, since prostitution is illegal in most areas of the country, and arrest her. And if law enforcement does believe the woman and goes after the pimp, by the time they get to the pimp, he is usually two or three states over and enslaving new women.
And then there is the immigrant sex slavery situation. The vast majority of Asian and "Oriental" massage parlors are little more than brothels using sex slaves. And these are found throughout the United States. A woman from a poor village in Asia is approached by slave traffickers. She is told that she is very beautiful and could model in the United States, or that there is good work for her in the United States. So she goes with the traffickers willingly and is smuggled into the U.S. When she gets here, she is placed in a small room and told she is going to have to pay back the price of bringing her to the U.S. by having sex with every man who comes through the doors. She doesn't have any money, nor is she allowed to have any money as all of her needs are taken care of by the brothel or massage parlor. She doesn't speak the language. She doesn't have a visa and is in the country illegally and told that American law enforcement agencies won't listen to her because she is an illegal immigrant. And she is doing an illegal act -- prostitution. She is frequently hooked to drugs, again as a source of control. And she really can't go back home. Not only does she not have any training in any job skill, but if she goes back home she faces several shames: she didn't make it big in the U.S., which she promised to do when she left, so she is a failure, she prostituted herself, and these cultures, like the United States, don't care why you were a prostitute, only that you were, and she is often a recovering drug addict. She is a slave in every since of the term.
And not all slavery is sexual slavery. There are a number of sweat shops throughout the United States, such as in New York and Los Angeles, that use mostly immigrant labor to turn out clothes, toys and other items. Again, immigrants are often chosen because they don't know who to turn to. They don't speak the language. They often don't have visas and are in the country illegally. And, the factory owners or the slavers threaten family members back home if they don't work and these immigrants believe, and sometimes know, that the slavers can hurt family members back home and the slave can't do anything about it.
So, in answer to your question -- yes, there are slaves in the American South, but the American South is not unique. Slavery exists in every section of the country and I would think you would find a higher percentage of slaves in cities like San Fransisco (think sexual slavery), Los Angeles (sexual slavery and sweat shops) and New York (sexual slavery and sweat shops) than you will in most areas of the South, which tend to be rural...
Answered By: Veto R - 9/29/2010