Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Protesters chant outside Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks inside to members of the community during an interfaith service, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, in Atlanta. Holder traveled to Atlanta to meet with law enforcement and community leaders for the first in a series of regional meetings around the country. The president asked Holder to set up the meetings in the wake of clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, Missouri. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Protesters chant outside Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks inside to members of the community during an interfaith service, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Larry Copeland, USA TODAY

ATLANTA (USA Today) – Against the backdrop of ongoing protests around the country over police treatment of black men, Martin Luther King Jr.’s hometown and cities across the USA will celebrate what would have been his 86th birthday today with marches, rallies and service projects.

The flagship commemorative service at King’s former church here, Ebenezer Baptist, will feature a keynote address by Gwendolyn Boyd, the first female president of Alabama State University in Montgomery and former president of the 250,000-member Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Here and around the nation, many will mark the day by feeding the hungry, donating blood or performing some other service to help others, says Steve Klein, spokesman for the King Center.

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