Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead is Frank Meeink’s raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi underground and his ultimate triumph over hatred and addiction.
Frank’s violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate. He made easy prey for a small group of skinhead gang recruiters led by his older cousin. At fourteen, he shaved his head. By sixteen, Frank was one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast. By eighteen, he was doing hard time in an Illinois prison.
Behind bars, Frank began to question his hatred, thanks in large part to his African-American teammates on a prison football league. Shortly after being paroled, Frank defected from the white supremacy movement. The Oklahoma City bombing inspired him to try to stop the hatred he once had felt. He began speaking on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League and appeared on MTV and other national networks in his efforts to stop the hate.
In time, Frank partnered with the Philadelphia Flyers to launch an innovative hate prevention program called Harmony Through Hockey. He is currently developing a similar program for the Iowa Chops, an AHL team affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks.
The story of Frank Meeink’s downfall and redemption has the power to open hearts and change lives.
Watch the Frank Meeink interview on TakePart Live.
When Barry Morrison and Frank Meeink first met in 1995, both men were anxious.
Morrison, the director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Philadelphia office, did not want Meeink to come to his office, not surprising given that Meeink, a former...Forward
Frank Meeink gets the last of his racist tattoos covered-up. You can listen to Frank’s radio show here.
I’ll pay for that! That is smart anyway you look at it. The Feds are removing convict and felon from the lexicon of incarceration. It’s a stigmatism once removed allowing reentry. If someone wants to get I HATE YOU tattoos removed we should help...Forward
Imagine going to a party and someone is there to take you in hand, guide you though the room, and introduce you to the guests. These introductions increase the odds that even the most timid wallflower will have a good time. We want our authors to...Forward
If you want to jump on board with the latest social media craze, joining Pinterest is the way to go. It is a virtual “pinboard” where people can post pictures of the things that they love (from websites, other “pinners,” or personal...Forward
Frank Meeink’s story is inspiring, compelling, and moving. It has the power to change lives. We should all be grateful to him for sharing it.
- Morris Dees
- Founder and Chief Trial Counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center
Frank Meeink’s book is a candid and captivating story of upbeat transformation of a raw racist into a courageous citizen which has much to teach all of us. Don’t miss it!
- Cornel West
- Professor, African American Studies, Princeton University
Frank Meeink’s story is so brutal, so visceral, so unflinching, and in the end, so soul-wrenchingly, specifically American, that it should from this moment on be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the origin of race hatred in these United States of America. Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead stands out as more than a great memoir. It is testament to a great heart, to a man willing to own up to his own violent past and, ultimately, shine a light of hope on this sick, pigment-fixated, demented nation we inhabit. The writing is phenomenal and Meeink’s tale will keep you riveted. In the end, like all true testaments, what the author has to offer is hard-earned, down-to-the-bone hope. I loved this book.
- Jerry Stahl
- Author of Pain Killers and Permanent Midnight
Powerful, absorbing, stunning and sobering, this book is an unvarnished, revealing, sad, and painful portrayal of a struggle that continues, and of a tortured but hopeful soul striving to do good.
- Barry Morrison
- Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League
Frank Meeink’s life story is a window into a world where hatred works like a drug. It is a compelling and cautionary tale.
- Kenneth Stern
- Director on Antisemitism and Extremism, American Jewish Committee
I was unable to put this book down. Frank’s story pulled me in to the point I felt I was living it with him, like I was skating alongside him as he overcame the odds and changed his life and, along the way, proved how hockey and other sports can change other kids’ lives, too.
- Bobby Ryan
- Forward, Anaheim Ducks
Frank’s transormation provides us commanding proof that reconciliation is possible even for those most tightly bound by hatred.
- Jesse Dylan
- Director of the Obama campaign’s Yes We Can video and the documentary Reconciliation
As a white man to stand in solidarity with folks of color in the struggle against racism, I am heartened by Frank Meeink’s story. His narrative confirms that we as white folks have a choice when it comes to how we wish to live in this skin. We can remain silent, or even collaborate with the subordination of peoples of color, or we can become allies in the fight for justice. Meeink has made his choice. May we all have the courage and fortitude to do the same. Nothing less than the fate of our nation depends on it.
- Tim Wise
- Author, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
Meet Frank Meeink – he knows the truth.
- Elizabeth Wurtzel
- Author of Prozac Nation