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|"I am just floored at everything that you survived and how much of an inspiration you are. I have been spreading the word to everyone that will listen to me."|
- Trisha S.
Review of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead
"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
Frank’s violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate. He made easy prey for a small group of skinhead gang recruiters. At fourteen, he shaved his head. By seventeen, Frank was hosting a cable access show called "The Reich" to recruit more people into the neo-nazi movement. By eighteen, he was doing hard time in an Illinois prison.
In prison he befriended men he used to think he hated, men of different races. Out of prison Meeink tried to rejoin his old skinhead pals, but couldn't bring himself to hate those he knew to be his friends. A Jewish doctor offered to get rid of his neo-nazi tattoos covering much of his body.
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 developed a similar program in Central Iowa. He is featured a film directed by Jessee Dylan with Desmond Tutu called "Reconcilliation", an independent film featuring Adrien Brody and Forrest Whitaker called "The Experiment", and appeared in a music video with Jamey Johnson called "High Cost of Living".
Frank has worked as director of fan development for American Hockey League teams. He has been on the national lecture circuit for nearly a decade, speaking to various groups on the topic of racial diversity and acceptance.
Here is a video of Frank as a guest with Katie Couric...
Philadelphia's Channel 6 Action News did an interview with Frank in October, 2010...
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