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The evening was filled with highs.

Kerry Washington thanked those who came before. “This award does not belong to me,” said Washington, who plays a slave separated from her husband in “Django Unchained,” as she picked up her first trophy of the evening for her role in the film directed by Quentin Tarantino. “It belongs to our ancestors. We shot this film on a slave plantation, and they were with us along every step of the way.”

Don Cheedle was awarded the outstanding actor in a comedy series trophy for his role as a slick management consultant in Showtime’s “House of Lies.” “This doesn’t belong just to me, but I am taking it home tonight,” joked Cheedle.

“Red Tails,” the drama about the Tuskegee Airmen, was honored as outstanding motion picture. “Look! I beat Quentin Tarantino,” beamed “Red Tails” executive producer George Lucas as he accepted the award.

LL Cool J, who was honored as outstanding actor in a drama series for CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles,” dedicated his trophy to fellow nominee Michael Clarke Duncan, “The Green Mile” and “The Finder” actor who died last year.

Sidney Poitier presented Harry Belafonte with the Spingarn Award, which honors outstanding achievement by an African American. His honor was followed by a serenade from Wyclef Jean and Common.

The complete list of winners for the 44th annual NAACP Image Awards:

Television Comedy Series

The Game” (BET)

Actor in a Comedy Series

Don CheadleHouse Of Lies” (Showtime)

Cassi DavisTyler Perry’s House of Payne” (TBS)

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Lance GrossTyler Perry’s House of Payne” (TBS)

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Vanessa Williams Desperate Housewives” (ABC)

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Drama Series

Scandal” (ABC)

Actor in a Drama Series

LL Cool JNCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS)

Actress in a Drama Series

Kerry WashingtonScandal” (ABC)

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Omar EppsHouse M.D.”(FOX)

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Loretta DevineGrey’s Anatomy”(ABC)

Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special

Steel Magnolias” (Lifetime)

Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special

Cuba Gooding, Jr. “Hallmark Hall of Fame’s FIRELIGHT” (ABC)

Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special

Alfre Woodard Steel Magnolias” (Lifetime)

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Actor in a Daytime Drama Series

Kristoff St. JohnThe Young and the Restless” (CBS)

Actress in a Daytime Drama Series

Tatyana AliThe Young and the Restless”(CBS)

News/Information (Series or Special)

Unsung” (TV One)

Talk Series

The View” (ABC)

Reality Series

Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” (OWN)

Variety Series or Special

Black Girls Rock” (BET)

Children’s Program

Kasha and the Zulu King” (BET)

Performance in a Youth/ Children’s Program – (Series or Special)

Loretta DevineDoc McStuffins” (Disney Junior block on Disney Channel)

Music

New Artist

Elle Varner (MBK/RCA)

Male Artist

Usher (RCA Records)

Female Artist

Alicia Keys (RCA Records)

Duo, Group or Collaboration

Mary Mary (Columbia)

Jazz Album

The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection” The Preservation Hall Jazz Band(Legacy)

Gospel Album (Traditional or Contemporary)

Go Get ItMary Mary (Columbia)

World Music Album

All of MeEstelle (Atlantic)

Music Video

Girl On FireAlicia Keys (RCA Records)

Song

I Look To YouWhitney Houston and R. Kelly (RCA Records)

Album

I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston (RCA Records)

Literature

Literary Work – Fiction

The Reverend’s WifeKimberla Lawson Roby (Grand Central Publishing)

Literary Work – Non-Fiction

The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme CourtJeffrey Toobin (Doubleday)

Literary Work – Debut Author

Nikki G: A Portrait of Nikki Giovanni in Her Own WordsDarryl L. Lacy (Darryl L. Lacy (iUniverse)

Literary Work – Biography/Auto-Biography

Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for ChangeJohn Lewis (Hyperion)

Literary Work – Instructional

Health First: The Black Woman’s Wellness GuideEleanor Hinton Hoytt, Hilary Beard (SmileyBooks)

Literary Work – Poetry

Speak WaterTruth Thomas (Cherry Castle Publishing)

Literary Work – Children

What Color is My World?Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Author), Raymond Obstfeld (Author), A.G. Ford (Illustrator) (Candlewick Press)

Literary Work – Youth/Teens

Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons A Dialogue With America’s Young LeadersGregory Reed (Amber Books)

Film Motion Picture

Red Tails” (Lucasfilm)

Actor in a Motion Picture

Denzel WashingtonFlight” (Paramount Pictures)

Actress in a Motion Picture

Viola DavisWon’t Back Down” (20th Century Fox)

Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Samuel L. JacksonDjango Unchained” (Weinstein Co.)

Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Kerry WashingtonDjango Unchained” (Weinstein Co.)

Independent Motion Picture

Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Fox Searchlight Pictures) & “Red Tails” (Lucasfilm)

International Motion Picture

The Intouchables” (Weinstein Co.)

Documentary (Theatrical or Television)

On the Shoulders of Giants: The Story of the Greatest Team You’ve Never Heard Of” (Showtime)

Writing in a Comedy Series

Marc WilmoreThe Simpsons” – The Spy Who Learned Me (FOX)

Writing in a Dramatic Series

Cheo Hodari CokerSouthLAnd” – God’s Work (TNT)

Writing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television)

Elizabeth HunterAbducted: The Carlina White Story” (Lifetime)

Directing in a Comedy Series

Ken WhittinghamParks and Recreation” (NBC)

Directing in a Dramatic Series

Paris BarclaySmash” (NBC)

Directing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television)

Benh ZeitlinBeasts of the Southern Wild” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)