Hundreds participate in Run Richmond 16.19

The race takes you on a journey through 400 years of black history in the River City.
Hundreds Participate in Run Richmond 16.19
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 3:08 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Run Richmond 16.19 returned to Kanawha Plaza Saturday morning, honoring African Americans’ sacrifices and achievements in this nation.

The race takes you through 400 years of black history in the River City.

“I love celebrating our history. Our history is trying to be erased, and I want to make sure everybody knows about our history,” participant Traci Jones said.

A diverse crowd of runners and walkers hit the pavement to experience that history together.

“It’s important in terms of our history that being able to combine walking in the places that our ancestors walked, running in the places that our ancestors walked is very important, our footsteps in their footsteps.”

Run Richmond 16.19 kicked off its second year. The event was organized by Hollywood actor Djimon Hounsou and his foundation partnered with the Black History Museum and Cultural Center and RVA Sports Backers. With the goal to have everyone learn about black history.

“To a certain point, it’s my responsibility to take my education into my own hands,” participant Julia Jones said.

Runners and walkers stopped by several historic sites, like the Emancipation and Freedom Monument on Brown’s Island, the neighborhoods of Jackson Ward and the Reconciliation Statue, built to raise awareness about Richmond’s role in the slave trade.

“This is more fun, more engaging, and I think it’s more in-depth and a culturally important event,” Jones said.

“Just about the unity and support to show that hey, we matter,” participant Casandra Chatman said. “There’s no history without us, so this is amazing.”

A view into 400 years of black history, with a goal to continue pushing forward and building a better future.

“Black history is American history,” Sylvia Gale said. “So, it’s our collective history. We all, especially in Richmond, we all need to understand this legacy.”