public speaking

Dancy lectures on “Race Achievement;” leads day of speeches.

New York Age, 25 January 1912.


On 12 January 1912, John C. Dancy spoke to an appreciative crowd at Saint John A.M.E. Zion, then joined Non-Formal Reading Club for a reception at the home of Charles H. and Dinah Scarborough Darden.  After a big oyster supper, a series of local speakers — almost like a Toastmasters club — regaled the Non-Formals on diverse topics, including politics, economics, and literature. Most intriguing perhaps: Dr. William A. Mitchner‘s remarks on “The Negro’s Christianity as evidenced by His Business Dealings” and (not a doctor) Arthur N. Darden‘s comments on “The Negro’s Waning Credulity.”

Tarboro native John Campbell Dancy was a politician, journalist, and educator in North Carolina and Washington, D.C. For many years he was editor-in-chief of African Methodist Episcopal Zion church newspapers Star of Zion and Zion Quarterly. He served briefly as collector of customs in Wilmington, North Carolina, but was forced to leave the city in the Wilmington Massacre of 1898. Dancy moved to Washington, D.C., and served as the city’s Recorder of Deeds from 1901 to 1910. Dancy died in 1920; D.C. Suggs was an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.