I've come to realize many things as I move forward in life. I have encapsulated it in this video. I would love your feedback and hope you will subscribe to my channel!
I have been involved in diversity, inclusion and the vast inequities that exist among Black men, women and families. There have been many turning points in my personal life and career. While my upbringing was far from perfect, I reflect on the years gone by and the past year and half when folks from all backgrounds white, black, Hispanic, young and old, stood together and said enough is enough throughout the country all while being pepper sprayed and assaulted like in the 1960's. Many look at the Black Lives Matter movement as a racist endeavor. We do not fully understand what we have never experienced. I have seen colleagues and folks I thought I knew take a position and write words that were hurtful and, in my view, unnecessary. Yet, I still believe we are the greatest country in the world. We have the right to express our views and whether for me personally I agree, like them or not, it is a right, a privilege that we all get afforded. Some voices are heard louder than others.
In the 1960’s Dr. King, John Lewis, Jesse Jackson and so many others made sacrifices so we as Black people could achieve equality. They were threatened, jailed, beaten and attacked by dogs and sprayed with high pressure hoses to name a few. This was in the 1960’s. We still had not achieved a balance. My Great Grandfather educated himself prior to the 1940’s when things were much worse than the 1960’s. Leroy Mitchell refused to conform and instead paved the way through education during a time where it was not common. My Great Grandfather was a pioneer as he was the Dean of The Chicago Baptist Institute for five years. It is the sacrifices that my Great Grandfather made in the 1940’s and the sacrifices made by those that came after him in efforts to just give us basic human rights. Juneteenth is about progress and celebrating freedom and remembering but also recognizing those that made sacrifices so we can be equal. We have not gotten there yet and there is still much work to be done. However, I am writing today to put things in perspective. My Great Grandfather was a man of integrity and refused to conform to what society told and wanted him to be and this was in the 1940’s. think about that. Almost 20 years later you had Dr. King and so many others still fighting for the same. We cannot and should not let those sacrifices go to waste by us just standing by expecting someone else to do the work for us. We need to stand up, don’t conform, have the difficult conversations and live out your truth. Folks may not like what you have to say however, until we address unconscious bias, inequality in pay, disadvantaged for loans, profiling of us in stores and traffic stops, we are disrespecting the work and sacrifice of those that have been paving the way. We need to do our part and I know first hand that it is not easy but I refuse to give up or give in as I am set on the path of living my own truth this Juneteenth and everyday going forward. What will you do in support of Juneteenth?
It has been a bit over a year since our daughter Skye a/k/a “The Selfie Queen” took over the “Family Brand” The hot sauces which can be found at this link Natural Hot Sauce (9lazykidz.com) has been our product of choice. We are proud of the work Skye has done in preparing, marketing and shipping. The brand continues to thrive which is surprising given that none of us knew at the time, we would be dealing with a pandemic never seen before, protests to support the rights of who we are as a family and what our beliefs and values stand for which is equality for everyone. As a black owned, woman run, entrepreneur brand we envisioned the combination would be the death of our brand. Surprisingly, the young entrepreneurs, those that understand what the protests were really about supported and continue to support the family Brand. Skye is 18 and graduates high school this year. Michelle and I have and will continue to supply Skye with the tools and resources she needs to be successful. However, we need you, the community, the hot sauce lovers, the supporters of young entrepreneurs, black, LGBT and small business to get behind us and support our youth.
When I was growing up in the age of chisel and rock and my kids like to refer to it, we went to school, graduated, got a job or went off to college. If you went out and got a job, it wasn’t enough to move out on your own and if you went to college, the student loan debt would crush you or your parents leaving you to stay living at home to save up. We encourage our kids to be entrepreneurs, to build their own wealth through ideas and handwork. Not everyone will be a doctor, plumber, lawyer or engineer. We need to and must promote independence for our children so they have a life.
The pandemic, protests, civil unrest, storming of the Capital and the unemployment rates are a sign, an indicator if you will that the path forward is one that we create for ourselves. We have an obligation to teach our children how to feed themselves and not be dependent upon others to paint on our blank canvas or fill our blank pages. Our children are the artists, the writers and as such we need to be the mentors, the inspiration, the hand that reaches down to pick them up when they fall and whisper “it’s ok” It is with this mentality that we see the family brand doing just what we outlined. We need to support our young women and minority entrepreneurs with a share of their content, a purchase of their product, a few words of inspiration and encouragement. Why you may ask? Being an entrepreneur, young entrepreneur is scary. Do you remember your first day of school? Your first dance? Your first kiss? Your first arrest (some of us)? Your first rejection? All trigger a sense of fear. We fear what we don’t know and what is the first reaction for many? Retreat, pull back. If we provide our young people with the right support system, we are encouraging them, cheering them on as you would a runner at the Boston Marathon. Skye needs the community support to not only to believe what may seem impossible but to catapult over the hurdle of doubt to the arms of success. Support 9 Lazy Kidz and Skye Ervin by sharing, liking, buying. Our dreams are only limited by what we believe to be possible. Help a young mind see that there is more beyond what they have experienced already! And of course, in the below, I get the eye roll.
Our moniker for our kids was 9 Lazy Kidz when we started the brand many years ago. Truth be told, they are each unique and special in very different ways. As parents, I do not believe Michelle and I could be any prouder of them than we are. As a parent all we can do is what we have been taught and also learned on our own is the right thing for us and our family. One of the many things Michelle and I agree on is our love and commitment to these 11 amazing kidz that first developed and gave me the inspiration for 9 Lazy Kidz! What Michelle and I can't agree on is if they can dance. #growth #opportunity #family #nevergiveup #teamwork #siblings #TheKidsAreRunningThings #SupportTheKids #OrderOnline #FreeLocalPickup
Photo by Mathieu Turle on Unsplash
The holidays are filled with a lot of wonderful things -- family, parties, etc. -- but all these things don’t come without a price. Many of us feel our wallets lighten significantly as the December days go on. Travel expenses, gifts, winter clothes, parties, higher utility bills… it all adds up quicker than you realize! That’s why it’s so important to save money where you can.
If you have a child in your life who loves sports and being active, you’re lucky enough to have a plethora of gift options available that you know they’ll love. Unfortunately, sports equipment is costly. If you want to give them gifts they’ll love, use the following money-saving tips to stay
9 Lazy Kidz a family brand which started as a hot sauce company is pleased to announce the appointment of Skye Ervin age 17 as Manager of Operations. She will be responsible for the day to day operation of the newly re-branded family company. The brand was created by father Martin Ervin along with Mother Michelle Ervin a little more than six years ago.
9 Lazy Kidz was created to share stories and memories that Martin and Michelle have experienced and continue to experience with our now 11 children. “It was a proud day when
We know that raising kids today isn’t like it was when we were growing up in the 60’s, 70’s, & 80’s. I don’t know when or how it happened but I do believe it is a generational thing. Not all of
us are guilty of it but I know I certainly am. As we progress, our core values change to reflect the current times. By this time, one would think as the father of 10 kids and one of the way, I would get it by now. As a father my love for my children is unwavering. We would do anything
I was in Boston several weeks ago. I went back to my roots and as such I have been asked in recent weeks “what’s going on with the hot sauce business” We are no longer just a hot sauce business, 9 Lazy Kidz is a family brand. So, what does that mean? There is a great sense of pride, a feeling of accomplishment when your years and hours of hard work begin to pay off. I remember starting this business with one vision that destiny has taken down a different path. I recall those I asked for help and remember with a smile now when they wouldn’t, said they
A little more than a year ago, I made a decision that I knew would change the course of my life but I had no idea of the overall impact. With the birth of my 10th child, I realized all that I had missed in pursuit of the all mighty dollar. So, circumstance took over. The reality was, I had 10 kids and I was unemployed by choice. I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I spent a great deal of time getting to know my kids, spending time doing the things that I could never seem to take more than a day off to do. I had no thought of what I would do in the future and
For Immediate Release – June 14, 2017
9 Lazy Kidz Family Brand Names New Chief Operations Officer & Relocates
After taking a one year hiatus to spend time with the 9 Lazy Kidz plus one; Founder and father Martin Ervin goes from East Coast to West Coast, literally. Back on the scene with a newly defined strategy and leadership team, 9 Lazy Kidz is moving from the humble beginnings in a
Michelle and Martin Ervin have had the privilege of raising 11 amazing children. We will share #parenting advice, recipes and anything that has to do with our fantastic journey