Angela King lived her life rooted in hate. That hate eventually led King to serving three years prison for robbing a Jewish-owned business. It was behind bars she saw the error of her ways, according to NBC Miami.
Growing up King was surrounded by racism. King said her parents warned her to never bring home a black person.
“I was raised in a household where I was taught racism and homophobia from as early as I can remember,” King said.
In high school she got mixed up with the wrong crowd.
“I ran into a group of newly recruited racist skinheads,” King said. “Initially, I mistook the disgust people had for them for respect. They would walk down the halls of the school and people would get out of the way. It was really obvious people were afraid of them. They didn’t mess with them. And, I enjoyed that feeling.”
Kings believed every racist stereotype out there. She called black people “lazy,” Jewish people “greedy” and said the entire LGBTQ community was an “abomination.”
While in jail she was surprised that the other inmates treated her with dignity and respect, and thus began her life transformation.
“I was assaulted by shame,” King said. “When they treated me like a human being, I was able to view myself in that same way again. And that was a huge turning point.”
Once released from prison, King turned her life around. She earned her M.A in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.
“Going through all that social science really gave me a much broader view of the world and a broader view of society. It helped me to start understanding some of the things that led to all of that and then how to break them down,” King said.
King Co-founded an organization called Life After Hate that takes “former members of the American violent far-right extremist movement,” and teaches them about tolerance.
She now travels the world sharing her story and spreading love.
“We take not only the lessons of our past and our unique experience, but we’ve done a lot with it,” King said. “We put a lot of self-healing work in. We go out and we use our personal narratives to teach everyday lessons.”