Vincent Williams has been in the fried chicken business for almost 40 years. In his tenure as a business owner, he’s been through it all: his Culver City restaurant Honey’s Kettle has survived lack of funding, a devastating fire, the Great Recession, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, he’s been a witness to decades of social change and racial tension in his native Los Angeles. Below, he reflects on what’s he’s seen, heard, and lived through. –As told to Lindsay Blakely.
I was born in 1955 and moved to a perfectly integrated neighborhood in Pasadena in 1960. When the riots in L.A. happened in 1965, we were as frightened as anyone else–there was a scary level of lawlessness and fire and police in the streets.