PHOTOS: Inside the NAACP Image Awards

Black Hollywood was in full effect last night at the 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, CA. ESSENCE was there to celebrate this banner year for Black film and television and gives you full access backstage and at the after party with some of LA's finest!

Angela Bronner Helm Feb, 23, 2014

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Lupita, a 2014 ESSENCE Black Women Hollywood honoree, won the Best Supporting Actress award.

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Aaron D. Spears from Being Mary Jane on his awesome freckles: "They came when I was 9 and running track. I appreciate them because I'd be a fool not to—you can't change them."

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Forest Whitaker with his wife Keisha and parents Laura and Forest Sr. Whitaker. Whitaker won both the NAACP Chairman Award and Best Actor for The Butler says, "I believe we are all connected. We are all one thing." 

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Vanessa A. Williams on being natural in Hollywood: "I do a lot of things with my hair but it's always great to come back to my roots."

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Roland Martin on his favorite moment of the night: "Idris Elba not tweeting anything about his bowtie."

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The ESSENCE Black Women Hollywood honoree was inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame: "I am humbled and honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with so many pioneers who have paved the way so all can celebrate the greatness of our folks."

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"It's always exciting for Forest to be honored and get the acknowledgement that he deserves," said Keisha Whitaker. 

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B.J. Britt from Being Mary Jane on what he loves about L.A.: "It's warm and sunny, there's lots of traffic. It's like a mad fantastic world."

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Malcom Lee, director of Best Man Holiday on this year's Image Awards: "This year's NAACP Awards were different because so many movies were really worthy of awards. It was a real race this year which is a beautiful thing."

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Sherri Shepherd on the best moment of the night: "Walking down the hallway with Oprah like I was her long lost sister."