Thursday, October 14, 7pm – Non-Fiction
Frank Meeink author of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead: The Frank Meeink Story, as told to Jody M. Roy ($10.00 Hawthorn)
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.
Frank Meeink works as director of fan development for the Iowa Chops hockey team. He has been on the national lecture circuit for nearly a decade, speaking to various groups on the topic of racial diversity and acceptance. This is his first book. Co-author Jody M. Roy, Ph.D. has been studying hatred within American culture, including hate-groups and hate-gangs, for the past twenty years. In addition to her work as Professor of Communication and Assistant Dean of Faculty at Ripon College, Jody serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere. Her publications include Love to Hate: America’s Obsession with Hatred and Violence (Columbia University Press, 2002).
“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!”Dr. Cornel West, 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