The most typical examples of these sorts of defiance have to do with depriving a master of the work of his slaves. Slaves had very few ways that they could openly rebel, and so they used what they could control; their work.
The whole point of having slaves was to get work out of them. Slaves could defy and (to some extent) thwart their masters by denying them the benefit of the slaves' labor. To do this, slaves would rebel by doing such things as:
- "accidentally" breaking tools or harming farm animals
- pretending to be sick when they really were not
- working as slowly as possible
In these ways, the slaves were defying the masters and throwing at least a little bit of a wrench into the workings of the plantations.