“Strictly business” was the mindset and mandate of my trip, so while New York was mired in the mountains of snow and residual slush and ice, I was obligated to fly to the palm-tree laden streets and 70 degree weather of Los Angeles—well, actually Pasadena—to witness one of the two biggest nights on the African-American entertainment calendar—the NAACP Image Awards.

The NAACP Image Awards are recognized as the pre-eminent multicultural awards show by some, but it’s without doubt the most comprehensive nights of recognition. The show acknowledges the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and field, as well as individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. While the live broadcast provided the bulk of the entertainment, there was another night of entertainment as select professionals were given their just desserts.

Here is the complete list of winners of the 45th NAACP Image Awards:

Motion Pictures

  • Outstanding Motion Picture: “12 Years a Slave”
  • Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture: Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Outstanding Actor: Forest Whitaker, “Lee Daniels’ the Butler”
  • Outstanding Actress: Angela Bassett, “Black Nativity”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor: David Oyelowo, “Lee Daniels’ the Butler”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress: Lolita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Outstanding Writing (motion picture—theatrical or television): John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Outstanding Independent Motion Picture: “Fruitvale Station”
  • Outstanding International Motion Picture: “War Witch”
  • Outstanding Documentary: “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners”


  • Outstanding Drama Series: “Scandal”
  • Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series: Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
  • Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series: LL Cool J, “NCIS: Los Angeles”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Taraji P. Henson, “Person of Interest”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Joe Morton, “Scandal”
  • Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series: Regina King, “Southland”
  • Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series: Janine Sherman Barrois, “Criminal Minds”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Brandy Norwood, “The Game”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Morris Chestnut, “Nurse Jackie”
  • Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Millicent Shelton, “The Hustle”
  • Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: Vincent Brown, “A.N.T. Farm”
  • Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-series or Dramatic Special: “Being Mary Jane”
  • Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-series or Dramatic Special: Gabrielle Union, “Being Mary Jane”
  • Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-series or Dramatic Special: Idris Elba, “Luther”
  • Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series: Tatyana Ali, “The Young and the Restless”
  • Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series: Kristoff St. John, “The Young and the Restless”
  • Outstanding Talk Series: “Steve Harvey”
  • Outstanding Documentary: “Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic”
  • Outstanding News/Information (series or special): “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates Jr.”
  • Outstanding Reality Series: “Iyanla: Fix My Life”
  • Outstanding Variety Series or Special: “Black Girls Rock!”
  • Outstanding Children’s Program: “Wynton Marsalis: A Young Arts Master Class”
  • Outstanding Performance by a Youth in a Youth/Children’s Program (series or special): China Anne McClain, “A.N.T. Farm”


  • Outstanding New Artist: K. Michelle
  • Outstanding Male Artist: John Legend
  • Outstanding Female Artist: Beyoncé
  • Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration: “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell
  • Outstanding Jazz Album: “The Songs of Stevie Wonder,” SFJAZZ Collective
  • Outstanding Gospel Album (traditional or contemporary): “Best Days Deluxe Edition,” Tamela Mann
  • Outstanding World Music Album: “Natalie Cole en Español,” Natalie Cole
  • Outstanding Music Video: “Q.U.E.E.N.,” Janelle Monáe featuring Erykah Badu
  • Outstanding Song: “All of Me,” John Legend
  • Outstanding Album: “Love, Charlie,” Charlie Wilson


  • Outstanding Fiction: “Anybody’s Daughter,” Pamela Samuels Young
  • Outstanding Nonfiction: “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery,” Deborah Willis, Barbara Krauthamer
  • Outstanding Debut Author: “Nine Years Under,” Sheri Booker
  • Outstanding Biography/Autobiography: “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” Jeanne Theoharis
  • Outstanding Instructional: “The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life,” Robin Quivers
  • Outstanding Poetry: “Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers,” Frank X Walker
  • Outstanding Children: “Nelson Mandela,” Kadir Nelson
  • Outstanding Youth/Teens: “Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers,” Tanya Lee Stone

Special awards were given to the NAACP “Entertainer of the Year,” which was selected by an online vote. The competitors in that category were Beyoncé, Dwayne Johnson, Idris Elba, Nicole Beharie, Oprah Winfrey and eventual winner Kevin Hart.

Academy Award-winning actor, producer and director Forest Whitaker received the NAACP Chairman’s Award. Paris Barclay and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African-American presidents of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, respectively, were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame.

Over and out. Time to move from the beach and get ready to head back east. Holla next week. Till then, enjoy the nightlife.