ABOVE PHOTO: Lupita Nyong’o poses in the press room with the award for outstanding supporting actress in a motion picture for “12 Years a Slave” at the 45th NAACP Image Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Arnold Turner/Invision/AP)
By Derrik J. Lang
LOS ANGELES — “12 Years a Slave” swept the film categories at the NAACP Image Awards with four wins.
The historical epic’s prizes at Saturday’s 45th annual ceremony honoring diversity in the arts included outstanding motion picture, directing for Steve McQueen, writing for John Ridley and supporting actress for Lupita Nyong’o.
“It’s been a historical year in film for all of us in this room, and I’m so proud to be a part of that history,” Nyong’o said. “It’s such an honor to be recognized for a film that has meant so much to so many people, a film that has inspired discourse long overdue.”
Kevin Hart won as entertainer of the year and actor in a comedy series for “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” his BET reality TV lampoon that was also selected as outstanding comedy series.
Kerry Washington picked up her fifth Image Award: outstanding actress in a drama series for her role as crisis management consultant Olivia Pope on ABC’s “Scandal,” which was also honored as outstanding drama series.
Other winners at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium ceremony hosted by actor Anthony Anderson included “Steve Harvey” as talk show and David Oyelowo as supporting actor in a motion picture for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”
“Thank you America for embracing me,” the British actor said. “I’m one of those guys with the funny accent.”
Forest Whitaker won the actor in a motion picture prize for “The Butler.” Whitaker, who founded the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative, was also honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award, which recognizes distinguished public service. Whitaker serves as the chairman of the International Institute for Peace and is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
“All I’ve tried to do with my life and work is to deeper my connection with humanity, so I’ve lived by the words of an old Nat King Cole song my daddy used to play on his stereo, which is, ‘The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return,’” said Whitaker.
Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, the late South African leader who died last year.
“We can each reflect, I do believe, the greatness he inspired in all of us,” said Winfrey. “I have to say sitting at his funeral and watching that casket go into the ground, I miss him dearly. I want you all to know that his life was an example to us all.”
Several winners were previously announced, including music honorees John Legend as male artist, Beyonce as female artist and Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell as group or collaboration for their hit tune “Blurred Lines.”
The awards are presented annually by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the civil rights group’s members select the winners.
— Motion picture: “12 Years A Slave.”
— Actor in a motion picture: Forest Whitaker, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”
— Actress in a motion picture: Angela Bassett, “Black Nativity.”
— Supporting actor in a motion picture: David Oyelowo, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”
— Supporting actress in a motion picture: Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years A Slave”
— Directing in a motion picture: Steve McQueen, “12 Years A Slave.”
— Writing in a motion picture: John Ridley, “12 Years A Slave.”
— Independent motion picture: “Fruitvale Station.”
— International motion picture: “War Witch.”
— Documentary: “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.”
— Drama series: “Scandal.”
— Actor in a drama series: LL Cool J, “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
— Actress in a drama series: Kerry Washington, “Scandal.”
— Supporting actor in a drama series: Joe Morton, “Scandal.”
— Supporting actress in a drama series: Taraji P. Henson, “Person of Interest.”
— Directing in a drama series: Regina King, “Southland.”
— Writing in a drama series: Janine Sherman Barrois, “Criminal Minds.”
— Comedy series: “Real Husbands of Hollywood.”
— Actor in a comedy series: Kevin Hart, “Real Husbands of Hollywood.”
— Actress in a comedy series: Wendy Raquel Robinson, “The Game.”
— Supporting actor in a comedy series: Morris Chestnut, “Nurse Jackie.”
— Supporting actress in a comedy series: Brandy Norwood, “The Game.”
— Directing in a comedy series: Millicent Shelton, “The Hustle.”
— Writing in a comedy series: Vincent Brown, “A.N.T. Farm.”
— Television movie, miniseries or drama special: “Being Mary Jane.”
— Actor in a television movie, miniseries or drama special: Idris Elba, “Luther.”
— Actress in a television movie, miniseries or drama special: Gabrielle Union, “Being Mary Jane.”
— Actor in a daytime drama series: Kristoff St. John, “The Young and the Restless.”
— Actress in a daytime drama series: Tatyana Ali, “The Young and the Restless.”
— Talk series: “Steve Harvey.”
— Reality series: “Iyanla: Fix My Life.”
— Variety series or special: “Black Girls Rock!”
— Documentary: “Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic.”
— Children’s program: “Wynton Marsalis: A YoungArts MasterClass.”
— Performance by a youth in a children’s program: China Anne McClain, “A.N.T. Farm.”
— News series or special: “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”
— Male artist: John Legend.
— Female artist: Beyoncé.
— New artist: K. Michelle.
— Duo, group or collaboration: Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell, “Blurred Lines.”
— Song: John Legend, “All Of Me.”
— Album: Charlie Wilson, “Love, Charlie.”
— Jazz album: SFJAZZ Collective, “The Songs of Stevie Wonder.”
— World Music Album: Natalie Cole, “Natalie Cole en Espanol.”
— Gospel album: Tamela Mann, “Best Days Deluxe Edition.”
— Music video: Janelle Monáe featuring Erykah Badu, “Q.U.E.E.N.”
— Fiction: Pamela Samuels Young, “Anybody’s Daughter.”
— Non-fiction: Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthemer, “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery.
— Debut author: Sheri Booker, “Nine Years Under.”
— Biography: Jeanne Theoharis, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.
— Instructional: Robin Quivers, “The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life.”
— Poetry: Frank X Walker, “Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers.”
— Children’s: Kadir Nelson, “Nelson Mandela.”
— Youth: Tanya Lee Stone, “Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers.”
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