Washington squared off against some tough competition, including Will Smith, for his portrayal of the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in Ali. The two will go head-to-head again in the Best Actor category when the Academy Awards are handed out March 24, the first time two African Americans have been in the running for that award.
Michael Mann's biopic Ali won the NAACP's best movie award. Halle Berry won best actress, oddly enough, not for her Oscar-nominated role as a widowed mother in Monster's Ball but for her performance as a spy in Swordfish.
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was honored with this year's President's Award, which last year went to former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Comedian Chris Rock hosted the festivities.