Mario Marcel Salas

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Mario Marcel Salas. (born July 30, 1949 in San Antonio, Texas) is a civil rights leader, author and politician. His parents were an Afro-Mexican father and a mixed race mother.[citation needed]

He graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School, an African American segregated school, and like many black schools across the country remained segregated long after the 1954 Brown Vs. Board decision.[1] It was soon after high school that he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and became a civil rights worker for over 30 years. He entered San Antonio College and graduated with two Associates degrees, in Applied Science-Engineering Technology and Liberal Arts[citation needed]. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in 1987. He married Edwina Lacy, of Chicago, Illinois, on July 9, 1988, to whom were born Elena Patrice and Angela Christine.[2]

Salas organized most of the Black Student Unions on San Antonio college campuses in 1969, and was co-founder of the Barbara Jordan Community Center in San Antonio. He was also active in the liberation of Grenada, a small island in the Caribbean, and helped to free the people of Grenada from the dictator Eric Gairy[citation needed] . Along with former SNCC member Rick Greene and former Speaker of the Texas House Gib Lewis, he negotiated the Martin Luther King, Jr. state holiday.[3] Salas writes for several African American newspapers, and was the chief negotiator for the first cable television franchise in San Antonio.[4]

Salas became an educator for the San Antonio Independent School District, and received his Master of Education degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in 1999. It was during 1997 that he was elected to the City Council District 2, of the City of San Antonio and served two full terms. He was one of only two known city council members that filibustered during a council meeting[citation needed]. His filibuster was aimed at the unequal distribution of city services across the city. Former Congressman Henry B Gonzalez as a coucilman was the other councilman who led a filibuster in San Antonio's history. He wrote a novel in 2000, titled Frankenstein: The Dawning and the Passing, Watercress Press, 2000, which contains dozens of hidden political points and references (Frankenstein: The Dawning and the Passing, Watercress Press, 2000).In the book the "Alam Tomb" refers to the Alamo. In June 2001 Salas entered UTSA to work on his second Masters in Political Science, which he acquired after completing his thesis on "Patterns of Persistence: Paternal Colonialist Structures and the Radical Opposition in the African American Community of San Antonio, Texas, 1937-2001." Since then he has taught English for the Alamo Community College District, and is a full-time tenure track professor in Government[citation needed]. He was elected the vice-president of the Judson Independent School District Board of Trustees in 2004, serving a three-year term[citation needed]. Salas has provided extensive research on the African American Cemetery in San Antonio Texas[citation needed] and is currently writing a history of the San Antonio Register, the oldest surviving African American Newspaper in San Antonio. Salas writes for the San Antonio Register and the African American News and Issues paper in Houston, Texas[citation needed]. Mr. Salas has a website at the University of Texas at San Antonio in which he has provided historical items to the archives collection. The site may be accessed at: He is currently working as vice chairman of TIRZ Board 11 for the City of San Antonio[citation needed], chair of the San Antonio Coalition on Human and Civil Rights[citation needed], and San Antonio Community Radio[citation needed].

Salas has been critical of the Iraq War and has formulated a concept he calls the colonial matrix.[5] Under this theory, Salas claims that the racist colonial structures that were in place when America was settled are still operating in a "morphed form." His theory is similar to Frantz Fanon's understanding of colonialism, but Salas maintains that colonialism's unwritten rules are constantly working in the background even when a society has been liberated[citation needed]. This makes racial colonial structures a feature that only morphs to maintain systems that evolved from colonist designs.

Salas has taught International Conflicts, the Politics of Mexico, Topics in Civil Rights, Introduction to African American Studies, and Texas and Federal Government.


  1. ^ Guide to the Mario Marcel Salas Papers at the University of Texas at San Antonio Archives
  2. ^ An African American Writer, Civil Rights Warrior, It's About Time - Black Panther Party Legacy & Alumni
  3. ^ Mario Marcel Salas, Patterns of persistence : paternal colonialist structures and the radical opposition in the African American community of San Antonio, Texas 1937-2001, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2004. OCLC 56776850
  4. ^ Mario Salas, Historical effort to address Black radio, African-American News and Issues, July 18–24, 2007
  5. ^ Mario Salas, FBI Spied on Civil Rights Leaders, African-American News and Issues

External links[edit]

  • Civil Rights Leader Speaks at MLK activities
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio houses a Collection of papers spanning the years 1968 through 2009 and consisting of personal and subject files spanning a wide range of Salas's interests. The collection includes biographical information, personal correspondence and writings, campaign materials and documents from Salas's City Council career.