[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/02/23/obama.sobu/art.obama.gi.jpg caption=" Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama campaigns in New Orleans on February 7."]NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) - The annual State of the Black Union forum boasts a number of famous names as it gets under way in New Orleans, but this year's event is getting much more attention for who won't be there.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, was the only major presidential candidate to accept an invitation to attend.
Her rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, declined, as did Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
Watch: CNN's Sean Callebs looks at the State of the Black Union, a gathering in New Orleans.