Dr. H. Patrick Swygert opened the show, saying this is a "single honor and moment in the history of Howard University. This is a serious moment." Tom Joyner hit the stage, excited and honored as "we make not just African-American history but American history."
He mentioned what Dr. Swygert had initially stated, that this event was taking place at the historically Black Howard University. He expressed gratitude to Tavis Smiley for bringing a "purpose to our party". When America catches a cold, Black America gets pneumonia. We deserve more than a last minute visit during Sunday morning church services. Our vote cannot be taken for granted."
Here come the candidates, introduced by Massaschusetts Governor Deval Patrick.