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Andrea Young credits many nuggets of wisdom to Jean Young—deceased Southern civil-rights activist, all-around humanitarian, and Andrea’s mom—in the very public eulogy Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me. But the recognition of the hard fact that women must wear lipstick is a most singular rallying cry. Young ably articulates what her mother so instinctively sensed: If this is a man’s world, women must go above and beyond to assert their importance in it, even at the price of painting their faces. This sophisticated moral should keep cynics from trashing a book tailor-made for Oprah endorsement. If not, admirers of the Youngs will find comfort in the wide-eyed earnestness with which the author asks women to be simultaneously wives, mothers, homemakers, feminists, public servants, activists, truth-tellers, and keepers of faith—and, by extension, to hold onto the unimpeachable optimism that this earnestness inspires. Young reads from her book at noon at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, 4606 16th St. NW. $25. (202) 829-2773. (Justin Moyer)