"12 Years a Slave" emerged as a big winner at the 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, February 22. The slavery drama took home Outstanding Picture, Outstanding Director for Steve McQueen, Outstanding Writing for John Ridley and Outstanding 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 as quoted by The AP. "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."
The Image Awards, which is organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also saw Kevin Hart winning the coveted Entertainer of the Year. The "Ride Along" star admitted in his acceptance speech that he's a "real mama's boy" and dedicated the award to his mother who recently passed away. "Right now I am working hard towards my own dream and the fact that that dream is becoming reality is unreal," he said.
Forest Whitaker won Outstanding Actor for his role in "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and was honored NAACP Chairman's Award. "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 the actor.
Whitaker's co-star David Oyelowo won the supporting actor category, joking in his acceptance speech, "I'm one of those with a funny accent and an African name."
Pregnant actress Kerry Washington took the TV drama actress category for her role in "Scandal", which also won best television drama series. "There's been a lot of talk about the historic nature of this character on network television," said Washington. "I just want to say...that is not because of the lack of talent. It's because of the lack of opportunity."
Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder took the stage to honor the late South African president Nelson Mandela. "What can I take to Nelson Mandela, I can't take a candle. So I built a school in his name," said Winfrey who built a girls school in South Africa.
Full list of winners is available on NAACPImageAwards.com.
Partial winners list: