PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dozens of inner city students heard some straight talk from a ‘recovering’ skinhead leader from South Philadelphia who spent years roaming city neighborhoods and the country as a violent gang leader.
Frank Meeink, 35, grew up in an Irish neighborhood, but then encountered hostilities at a predominately African-American school in Southwest Philadelphia. At the age of 13, he went away to Lancaster, Pa. and his cousins introduced him to the skinhead culture.
By age 18 he was a tattooed, racist skinhead leader. He ran with gangs that would beat people indiscriminately:
Meeink says it wasn’t until he was finally sent to prison in Illinois that he was exposed to people from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds. Now, coming full circle on his return to Philadelphia, he met with students from Audenried, Bok, and South Philadelphia high schools to talk about his redemption:
The appearance was sponsored by the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League.
Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio