Sharpton called Cornelius a legend, and "one of the coolest, hippest hosts on TV." He attributed Cornelius and the show to launching the careers of some of the biggest African American performers, including Aretha Franklin, The Jackson 5, Gladys Knight & the Pips and more.
Sharpton also played video footage of his 1974 "Soul Train" appearance when he was just 19 years old. Sharpton went on the program to honor who he called his "surrogate father and mentor," James Brown. On the show, he presented Brown with a "black record" for his gold record, "Pay Back." As the young activist presented Brown with the framed black record, he told Brown that the record was "relevant and say many of the things young Blacks have tried to say."