RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A fun run this weekend shone a spotlight on crucial African American history here in Richmond.

Run Richmond 1619, held downtown on Saturday, Sept. 17, connected to important markers and dates including the year the first enslaved Africans were brought to these shores in chains.

To draw attention to that, runners ran courses of 16.19 miles, 16.19 kilometers and 6.19 miles to allow the participants to experience “the arc of America’s Black History all the way from the beginning of the Transatlantic Slave Trade until now.”

The event was sponsored by the Djimon Hounsou Foundation and aimed to celebrate Unity in Diversity as a part of a series of events that take place in Richmond, Liverpool, United Kingdom and Ouidah, West Africa, which were all important centers during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The event’s website stated the run’s goals are to commemorate the sacrifices and celebrate the achievements African American people have made to the United States since the beginning of their time in North America. Organizers also aimed to create a cultural movement to preserve a Pan-African identity and raise funds.

Run Richmond 1619 was organized and sponsored by actor Djimon Hounsou’s Foundation. Photo credit: Channel 8News

Run Richmond 1619 organizer Djimon Hounsou is a Beninese-American who starred in the films ‘Without You I’m Nothing,’ ‘Blood Diamond’ and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amistad.’