“Do Platanos go wit Collard Greens?” is an exploration of the relationships between African-Americans and Latin Americans written by David Lamb, who “uses humor to raise serious questions” about both cultures while creating “a metaphor for the relationship between a Dominican woman and African-American man.”
Lamb originally from Astoria Queens, New York, received his BA in economics from Hunter College, attended New York University to study law and received a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University.
Currently he teaches society and hip-hop culture at John Jay College in New York.
Members of Lambda Theta Alpha sorority, Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and the Main Campus Program Board invited Lamb to Temple University for the annual Latino Heritage month.
Prior to the lecture the audience was treated to some traditional food from Latin American and African-American cultures. These included Platanos (plantains), arroz conguandules, (red rice and beans), along with fried chicken and collard greens.
Lamb traced the history between the two cultures from bebop to hip-hop as he discussed the importance of history and emphasized that students must “study the past in order to know the present and anticipate the future.”
He also discussed the fusion between Latino and African music, which began in the 1940s, that will unite them and fuse both traditions.
Lamb, used video clips and excerpts from songs such as Pete Rodriguez’s “I Like It Like That” and Eve’s Ruff Ryder’s First Lady album.
He used this exercise as a way for the audience to hear the baselines of past and present music to illustrate how music of today is influenced by music of the past.
Temple students eagerly listened to the entertaining speaker.
Mabana Bamba, a JPRA student liked that Lamb was down to earth.
“I also enjoyed his honesty,” said the Temple junior.
Amethyst Bentham, the president of Lambda Theta Alpha chose the author because she felt that Temple students needed an authoritative figure, who “spoke reality but at the same time had a lot of factual information to back it up.”
Bentham explained, “Latinos and African-Americans through the years have grown together” and lived similar lives.
She felt that the audiences was left with a piece of history that was given by an “excellent speaker.”
“History is a current event,” Lamb said during his lecture.
“It is critical for African-Americans to learn from the experiences of Latin Americans.”
Both cultures he said “are trying to overcome the same sort of problem, we are already connected but we just don’t realize that.”
More information on the author, his books and his ideas can be found at www.lambbooks.com
Josephine Munis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org