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Cover of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead

Frank Meeink
Jody M. Roy

Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead

  • Introduction by Elizabeth Wurtzel
  • nonfiction / memoir
  • ISBN 978-0-9790188-2-4

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.

Awards

10 Books That Influenced Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things Best-selling author Jodi Picoult recommends social justice must-reads that informed her latest novel, which tackles racism and prejudice in America.

Jodi Picoult

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Praise for Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead

In this profound memoir… a brutal tour of modern American racism at its worst, a case study of traumatized youth and drug addiction, and a stark reminder of the human capacity for redemption, Meeink and Roy’s account is a shocking but ultimately reaffirming read.

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

A ‘Recovering Skinhead’ On Leaving Hatred Behind. As a teenager, Frank Meeink was one of the most well-known skinhead gang members in the country. He had his own public access talk show, called The Reich, he appeared on Nightline and other media outlets as a spokesman for neo-Nazi topics, and he regularly recruited members of his South Philadelphia neighborhood to join his skinhead gang.

Fresh Air: NPR
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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 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

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

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

Frank Meeink tells how he was drawn into America’s Nazi underground and how he ultimately triumphed over drugs and hatred.

In Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead he talks about what made him easy prey for skinhead gang recruiters, how, by 16, he had become one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast, and how he defected from the white supremacy movement and changed his life.

The Leonard Lopate Show
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If you look at Frank Meeink’s resume today - author, speaker, founder of an outreach program for kids - you wouldn’t suspect that he used to be a Neo-Nazi Skinhead. But that was Frank’s life when he was a teen. It took prison and being locked up with men of different colors to change Frank’s views on things. Join us for a special look into the life of one “Recovering Skinhead.”

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Former neo-Nazi: ‘Racist music is what keeps the movement young’ Chris Matthews talks to Frank Meeink, a former neo-Nazi and self-described “former skinhead,” about the white supremacy culture and how it may have influenced Wade Michael Page, the alleged shooter who gunned down a Sikh temple this past weekend.

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Live from Prairie Lights - Frank Meeink, introduced by Paul Ingram, will read from Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead, a raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi underground and his ultimate triumph over drugs and hatred. A violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate. By age 16 he had become one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast and by 18 was doing hard time. The story of Meeink’s downfall and redemption has the power to open hearts and change lives.

Prairie Lights Books & Cafe
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From Hatred To Harmony: A Conversation With A Former Skinhead. When Frank Meeink was 16 years old, he had a shaved head and a large tattoo of a swastika on his neck. He used to recruit teenagers to the skinhead movement. Now he teaches teenagers about peace and forgiveness. Frank Meeink has written a book about his journey called Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead

KUOW: NPR Member Station
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Former neo-Nazi’s story offers profound lesson in Trump era.

Lisa Falkenberg, Houston Chronicle

Frank Meeink, A Recovering Skinhead on Leaving Hatred Behind. Now a noted speaker, author and founder of Harmony Through Hockey, Frank’s life stands for tolerance, diversity and mutual understanding in racial, political and all aspects of society. Frank is truly an inspiration in any time of strife and conflict.

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KFDM covers the ADL and U.S. Attorney’s event with speaker Frank Meeink in Beaumont, Texas.

KFDM
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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

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

The book’s lasting impression is of the brutality of Meeink’s earlier incarnation, and one wonders if those drawn to white supremacy and hatred could take any lessons from it before their beliefs come to harm others.

Caleb Powell, The Rumpus