Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeThe Trump administration's plan to change the poverty line would hurt communities who need help the most GOP rep: Trump needs to retaliate against Iran to deter other hostile nations Democrats to pass spending bill with Hyde despite 2020 uproar MORE (D-Calif.) described overcoming adversity as an African-American woman early in her life during a discussion about her new book held Wednesday at the National Press Club.

Lee's memoir, "Renegade for Peace and Justice," details her struggles with domestic violence, segregation and subsisting on public assistance, all to become a member of Congress and the Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. During her short talk, she elaborated on how her mother was denied entry to a local hospital in El Paso, Texas, when she was about to give birth, simply for being black.

She had to call Barbara's grandmother, who had fair skin since her father was a white Irish man, to tell the doctor that this in fact was her daughter. The doctors left Lee's mother on a gurney, she said, and instead of being delivered by Cesarean section, Lee was birthed by forceps.

"I will never want anybody to go through what my mother went through," Lee said. "It's important, I think, to do what you can to help others, and that's what I've tried to do throughout my life."

Lee took several questions, one of which was from conservative media watchdog group Accuracy in Media, who asked about her impressions of the first two weeks of President Barack Obama's Administration.

"I think he's doing a great job," she said. "I think he set some markers down in terms of Guantanamo, in terms of torture, in terms of getting out of this economic crisis. I think his agenda is one that a majority of Americans are embracing, most people are pleased with what he's done."

-Samuel Rubenfeld