Black Love: Chris Rock and Malaak Compton Rock

Black Love: Chris Rock and Malaak Compton Rock
ESSENCE.COM Apr, 20, 2011

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Chris and Malaak met in 1994 after he crashed an awards show with friends. He was a 29-year-old budding comedian, and she was 24.

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“She’s changed me,” Chris said of Malaak in a 1997 interview. “She’s really calmed me down and centered my life.”

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Malaak and then baby daughter Lola Simone (born in 2002) congratulate Chris on being awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.

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The beautiful couple welcomed daughter Zahra Savannah in 2004.

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Chris and Malaak attended their friend Star Jones’ wedding to Al Reynolds in 2004.

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Chris and Malaak attend the opening of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

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A career woman in her own right Malaak is the founder and executive director of StyleWorks, a non-profit, full-service salon that provides free services for women leaving welfare and entering the workforce.

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On marriage the ever candid comedian says, “The best part is just having a partner.”

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By now regulars at red carpet events, Malaak and Chris attend the premiere of “I Think I Love My Wife” in 2007.

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The couple, who live in New Jersey, can often be found courtside watching the New York Knicks.

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Malaak and Chris enjoy the sights and sounds of the 2008 ESSENCE Music Festival.

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Malaak has had to make a few sacrifices in order to support her husband’s success. “I needed to make an adjustment in my life to make both my marriage and career work,” she said.

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Malaak and Chris take their girls to a Broadway play.

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“My girls want a playdate” with the Obama girls, Chris told PEOPLE. “They look at the youngest and they’re like, ‘We can play with her, Daddy.’ We’ll see.”

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We adore Malaak’s braided look for her husband’s first documentary, “Good Hair,” premiere in Los Angeles.

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Malaak and Chris have also made their name in philanthropy and recently partnered with Target to make a $1 million donation to the Bushwick Salvation Army where Chris grew up.

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Asked what he most admires about Malaak, Chris answered: “She’s a giving person, she’s caring and she’s beautiful.”

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“It was an attraction,” Chris said in an interview of the first night he met his wife 17 years ago. “It was like at first sight. I was with someone, and she was with someone, but we talked and we hit it off.”

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Through it all — the rumors of divorce, the mega success — Chris and Malaak remain consistent and remind us of the power of Black love.

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The family enjoys family time at Arthur

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