Actress Kerry Washington was the standout of Friday night’s 44th annual NAACP Image Awards, pulling in three trophies. She won outstanding actress in a drama series for her role in Shonda Rimes’ Scandel, and best supporting actress in a motion picture, playing Jaime Foxx’s love interest in Django Unchained.
“This award does not belong to me,” Washington said about the Django honor. “It belongs to our ancestors. We shot this film on a slave plantation, and they were with us along every step of the way.”
Washington, 36, also earned the President’s Award, for exemplary public service. The actress is a member of President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Other winners included Denzel Washington, for outstanding actor in a motion picture for Flight, and Viola Davis, who took home the trophy for outstanding actress in a motion picture for her part in political drama Won’t Back Down.
Lucasfilms’ Red Tails earned the prize for outstanding motion picture, despite a mixed critical reception. The film depicting the Tuskegee Airmen bested Oscar best picture nominees Django Unchained and Beasts of the Southern Wild.
“Look! I beat Quentin Tarantino,” Red Tails producer George Lucas said on stage.
Political activist, singer and actor Harry Belafonte received the Spingarn Award, which celebrates lifetime achievement by an African-American. Belafonte called other African-Americans to be more involved in the newly revived gun control debate.
“In the gun game, we are the most hunted. The river of blood that washes the streets of our nation flows mostly from the bodies of our black children,” Belafonte told the crowd. “Where is the raised voice of black America? Why are we mute?”