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Slaves resisted slavery in many different ways. Some were very dramatic, others were not.
The most dramatic way of resisting slavery was to engage in a slave rebellion. These were very uncommon but had a huge impact when they happened. Slave rebellions generally involved slaves trying to kill whites. They were not necessarily well thought-out in terms of having any ideas about what they would accomplish, but they did reflect slaves’ anger with slavery.
A less dramatic, but still fairly dangerous, way of resisting was running away. Slaves, particularly in the Upper South, tried to escape relatively often. This deprived slave owners of their property and, hopefully, allowed the slaves to get out of slavery.
The most common way of resisting slavery, however, was through small acts of resistance that could be done on a daily basis and did not typically put the slave in danger of being punished. These were subtle acts that could not necessarily be identified by owners. Slaves might claim to be sick when they really were not sick. They would work as slowly as possible. They might “accidentally” break tools or overwork animals. By doing these things, they were showing that they did not accept their slavery and that they would resist it as much as they could.
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