Saturday’s dedication of historical marker to honor East Side civil rights hero

John Inman remembered as a voice for the oppressed

SAN ANTONIO – John Inman may have been a barber by trade, but Mario Salas, a longtime activist, said he was “the most revolutionary barber I ever met.”

Janice Inman Joseph, John’s daughter, said wherever there was a fight against injustice, “Daddy was there.”

To honor her father, Salas arranged to have a historical marker erected outside historic Mount Zion First Baptist Church, where Inman worshipped and just down the street from his barber shop once stood.

Salas said he wanted to do it “so (John’s) memory, what he did, wouldn’t be lost to history.”

He said it would be the latest of a series of historical markers throughout the East Side, which Salas has made possible through the city of San Antonio.

The dedication will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Mount Zion, located at 333 Martin Luther King Drive.

“I’m humbled,” said Inman’s daughter. “Our family is deeply appreciative and honored that this is being bestowed upon our father.”

John Inman is remembered as a voice for the oppressed.

“His platform, his pulpit, was his barber shop,” Joseph said.

She said the barber shop was “the pulse of the community.”

His daughter said she remembers as a child, “It was a melting pot of diversity of different cultures, different opinions. It would get heated.”

Salas said, “I think he gave people courage because he was fearless.”

A former Black Panther, Salas said Inman, who had been president of the local NAACP chapter, “served as inspiration for me.”

Inman’s daughter said, “He left us a legacy of love, not for himself, but for all people.”

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About the Authors

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.

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