Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MyBrownBaby Mom: Malaak Compton-Rock


Congratulations to Ms. Understood, Joyce the Writer, and Malaka G., who will each receive an autographed copy of Malaak's book. Thanks everyone for participating!

If service to others is a gauge of a human's heart, then Malaak Compton-Rock's is as tall as Mt. Kilimanjaro and as wide as the Caspian sea. For sure, Malaak, wife of comedian/actor/film producer Chris Rock, is a do-gooder—a dedicated mom who's living quite a fulfilled life serving and giving to others. She's headed up no less than five organizations dedicated to helping everyone from women moving from welfare to work, to orphaned children and people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, to at-risk kids from Brooklyn recruited to participate in a two-week mission to serve others and experience the world (the latter, her Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service, was featured on CNN's Black in America 2). More recently, she's dedicated her attention to The Angel Rock Project, an online e-village that promotes volunteerism, social responsibility and sustainable change, and authored the new book, If It Takes a Village, Build One: How I Found Meaning Through a Life of Service and 100+ Ways You Can Too. The book, part memoir, part guidebook, details Malaak's own experience with service and gives the ABCs on things like how to research charities, how to find the right volunteer opportunities, how to get kids involved in a life of service, and even how to start a nonprofit. It's an amazing legacy that Malaak is leaving for her daughters—one that, no doubt, will make them equally strong, powerful, courageous women. Just like their mom. Here, Malaak shares stories about her greatest love—her brown babies—and her dedication to raising smart, fun children who share her passion of service. AND (!) she's giving away THREE AUTOGRAPHED COPIES of her book, exclusively here on MyBrownBaby (read on for details). Without further ado, MyBrownBaby Mom Malaak Compton-Rock:

My name is... Malaak Compton-Rock.

I live in... New Jersey, 20 minutes outside of New York City.

My brown babies are... Lola Simone, age 7, and Zahra Savannah, age 5. We also have Ntombi, who is 2 years old and from South Africa. She visits our family often and is our pride and joy.

I make a living... giving speeches, writing, and doing occasional TV work. I also run a nonprofit program for teens, but defer my salary.

The last time my kids cracked me up is... everyday, but they really cracked me up at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards this week because they were so nervous meeting Justin Beiber and the other celebrities. The five-year-old said, "I can’t move, I can’t walk, my neck is too hot!” That really made me laugh. Now we can’t stop asking her if her neck is hot.

The last book I read with my kids was... Frindle with Lola and Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy for Zahra. She is loving this book right now.

My favorite place to take them is... Houston’s restaurant followed by Barnes & Noble’s children’s book section. This is a Saturday ritual and staple for us. We also love to go to the park. Van Zandt park in Paramus, New Jersey, is a favorite because it has jungle gyms for all ages, a small zoo, a train, merry-go-round, and pony rides. We love it and can stay all day. I also love to take them to our local nail salon for mani/pedi’s, followed by a trip to Acorns, a local children’s bookstore.

My proudest mom moment was... seeing Zahra so proud of doing her math work for me during a parent visit at school. The smile on her face, the happiness in her eyes, and the confidence in her soul were almost too much to take. Lola recently accompanied me on a mission to Ghana, where we met rescued and current child slaves in Kete Krachi, who are enslaved in the fishing industry on Lake Volta. I was so proud of the way she interacted with the Ghanaian children and how involved she was in our work to learn more about child slavery. And she basically understood that all children are the same and set about playing and chatting with them as she would any child.

The thing I most want my children to know is... “to whom much is given, much is required.”

The one family tradition I hope my kids continue when they grow up is... putting on music and dancing at night as a family before going up to bed, and making every holiday, even the little ones, special and memorable.

If I could invent one thing to make mom life easier, it would be... something that would keep my car clean and snackproof. I cannot stand a messy car as it makes my mind go to mush. I often make a rule that the kids can’t eat in the car because they are too messy and don’t clean up after themselves, only to break it the very next day carpooling from school to an activity. Oh, what I would do for an “instant-car-cleaner-upper thingy.”

The best invention for kids ever is... the sippy cup hands down for toddlers, and the rolling backpack for big kids, since we are always on planes. I also really liked the scented bags for diapers when they were younger. I think the portable potty for my car and the large seat covers that stick are both a must-have.

The kid snack I am most likely to get busted eating are... fishies, their cereal, and drinking from a juice box.

The most important life lesson I want my kids to learn is... to “treat others as you would like to be treated,” and that it is important to always remember, “if I get there before you do, I am obligated to bore a hole and pull you through.”

The one thing no one knows about me is that... I am a mean cook. I can throw down in the kitchen.

The thing I lost as a mom that I wish I could get back is... sleeping in on the weekends and then waking up and reading the paper from front to back; getting a massage without wondering what the kids are doing, and then not feeling guilty for leaving them to get a massage instead of relaxing; being able to read more than two pages in a book at a time; sleeping in a bed without feet in my face and back; and not falling asleep in the movies because of lack of sleep.


Three lucky MyBrownBaby readers will win a copy of Malaak Compton-Rock's new book, If It Takes a Village, Build One, autographed by Malaak! The book, a testament to Malaak's dedication to the service of others, is an incredible guide to how we all can help those less fortunate than us—in big ways and small ways too—and find fulfillment in it. The book can be purchased on Amazon for $24, but Malaak Compton-Rock's autograph is priceless.

Here’s how you enter: Visit Malaak's The Angel Rock Project website (CLICK HERE) OR check out a video of Malaak on Oprah, giving tips on how to get kids involved in service CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO and then come back here to MyBrownBaby and leave a comment about something you learned about Malaak's foundation or her kid-friendly service suggestions. You must leave your comment by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 to qualify to win.

Want to enter more than once? Boost your chances of winning by completing one or more of the following tasks:

1. If you haven’t already, sign up for MyBrownBaby’s email updates by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, May 5, 2010. To be eligible, you must verify your email subscription when Feedburner sends you a verification email. Your entry will be invalid if you do not verify. If you would prefer to get MyBrownBaby updates via an MBB RSS feed, please leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so, and include an email address, as RSS subscribers are anonymous.

2. Buy one or more of copies of If It Takes a Village, Build One on Amazon HERE, and email a copy of your confirmation order to mybrownbabycontests@gmail.com. For every purchase of her book between April 6th - July 6th, 2010, Malaak will donate $1 to The Global Fund. CLICK HERE to learn more.

3. Become a MyBrownBaby Google Follower.

4. Tweet about this giveaway: "I'm rocking The Angel Rock project for a chance to win @mybrownbaby and @arproject." (You can tweet this message up to five times—once per day. Please leave a separate comment for each tweet. While appreciated, extra tweets beyond the alloted five will not be counted.)

5. Follow @mybrownbaby or @ARProject on Twitter.

6. Fave MyBrownBaby on Technorati. After you do this, come back to MyBrownBaby to leave a comment with your Technorati user name so that I can verify it.

See? That means each of you can receive up to 11 entries. Two winners will be chosen via Random.org, and contacted via email. This contest is available to U.S. mailing addresses only. PLEASE LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH TASK YOU COMPLETE. This is the only way that your extra entries can be counted on Random.org.

Well… what are you waiting for? Go ahead—Angel Rock is waiting!

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  1. I really enjoyed the article Essence did on Mrs. Compton-Rock in the April issue. I wasn't really familiar with her prior to the article (or with what she did). I think it's great that she instills giving back in her children and that they participated by both giving their own toys and feeding the homeless. That has been something I've considered doing with my children when I have some and I hope that I am dedicated enough to make sure that they participate in some form of charity.

  2. I was unaware of Mrs. Compton-Rock's Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. I've heard of the various children and community outreach programs her foundation works with but the TNBC was news to me and GREAT news at that. Philanthropy is awesome!

  3. I love when I read about well-known moms who are down to earth and use their powers for good. I applaud Compton-Rock's efforts. And her relationship with her children is a wonderful testament to her values. I enjoyed the stories and the ways she spends quality time because they remind me of how I relate with my daughter. I've tweeted about this post!

  4. I am a SOLID Malaak fan, and have been ever since I saw her prime time special on her work with South African kids. I'm even further impressed that she has taken a S.A. child under her wing! I will buy this book and read it...during my flight to South Africa next year. If the winds of change are in our favor, my family will be moving to the country next year. Malaak (and I know you can't hear me) should you happen by an afro'd woman waving wildly at you in the streets of Jo'burg during a future visit, fear not. It's just me: Malaka Grant, MBB reader and Malaak Compton-Rock fan!

  5. I was impressed by what Malaak's foundation is doing in South Africa, giving the women the means to make their own living, rather than just giving them a charitable donation. It's inspired me to investigate ways that I can make my giving more purposeful in other places.

  6. I really enjoyed the article Essence did on Mrs. Compton-Rock in the April issue


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