Painting by Reyes’ father won Coretta Scott King-sponsored national
art contest in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.
SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes today issued the following statement
commemorating the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday, noting
Coretta Scott King’s relationship to the Reyes family:
“We recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. today as a historic advocate for
civil rights. In the United States, we believe all men are created equal
and our rights and freedoms come from God, not government or rulers.
Reverend King fought so those freedoms could be enjoyed equally by every
man, woman and child in America.
“My father Buddy Reyes immigrated to the United States from the
Philippines to flee political persecution in 1967. What transpired in
the years to follow was truly an example of the American Dream. Living
in humble circumstances while painting on the streets of Los Angeles to
survive, my father was encouraged to enter a nationwide art contest in
1968 sponsored by Coretta Scott King in commemoration of her late
“Using art supplies donated by a blind neighbor and an old cabinet door
to paint upon, my father won that nationwide art contest. Coretta Scott
King and her lawyers assisted my father in expediting his legal status
from resident to that of a full U.S. Citizen and the winnings from the
contest helped establish the Reyes family’s true start in the United
States. My father went on to many more successes over the next fifty
years thanks to Mrs. King.
“Martin Luther King, Jr. forever changed a nation — and his legacy
forever changed my family’s history. For that, my family can never be
Buddy Reyes’ national contest-winning poster is attached for reference.
For more information and related video footage please visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLOB8pZxpg8