Runnin'

Album: Hidden Figures (2016)
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This jazz-age tune is from the soundtrack to Hidden Figures, a biopic about the pioneering black NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. A child prodigy, Johnson faced huge discrimination because of the color of her skin and her gender. The math skills of Johnson and her colleagues Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson eventually enabled them to smash through the obstacles and become black female rocket scientists.
  • Pharrell Williams served as a producer on the movie and also co-ordinated its soundtrack. On this song he sings about the hurdles Johnson faced as an African-American female:

    You and I are not different from each other (other)
    Shut our eyes, when we slumber I see numbers (numbers)
    Black and white, we're computers, I am colored (colored)
    Don't act like you was there when you wasn't


    Williams told Deadline. "When you find out some of these intricate parts were played by women, then it becomes a whole other thing. The picture becomes much more full and you get a real, holistic understanding for how it got done. We know we got there, but the truth behind what specifically happened introduces you to the real pitfalls they faced. And you see, at every turn, there was a woman."
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