Dr. Jenna Lester comes from a family of African American women who have dedicated their lives to medicine. Her grandmother, Ruby Brangman, became a nurse practitioner during the 1970s. At that time, Ruby was one of the first black women in her profession in New York state.

A generation later, Jenna’s mother, Sharon Brangman, became a doctor. Sharon says it was her own mother’s determination that set her on that path.

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At StoryCorps in New York City, Jenna and Sharon sat down to reflect on their family’s legacy.

Top photo: Sharon Brangman and Jenna Lester at their StoryCorps interview in New York City.
Bottom photo: Sharon Brangman, Ruby Brangman, and Jenna Lester in 1988, when Jenna was three months old. Courtesy of the Brangman family.

Originally aired January 26th, 2018, on NPR’s Morning Edition.