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Michelle McKinney Hammond

West Indian And African Roots

McKinney Hammond was born in London, England, in 1957. When she was two years old her parents divorced, and McKinney Hammond, whose mother is of West Indian descent, was sent to Barbados to live with her grandmother and aunt and uncle. McKinney Hammond's mother remained in London to complete her studies, and during this time she met and married William McKinney. When McKinney Hammond was seven years old, her mother came to Barbados with her new husband to reclaim her daughter. The family then moved to Muskegon, Michigan, in the United States, where McKinney Hammond spent the remainder of her childhood.

As a child, McKinney Hammond struggled with the changes in culture and with her own insecurities. She told Today's Christian Woman, "Each place left me with a heavy accent that made me different from all the other children in our next home. Besides that, I was an ugly duckling—with a gap between my front teeth, glasses, and an extremely thin body. I was an easy target for neighborhood bullies!" During high school she developed an interest in music and theater and earned leading parts in both community and school stage and musical productions.

McKinney Hammond's father, George Hammond, returned to his native home of Ghana, West Africa, after he divorced McKinney Hammond's mother, and thereafter McKinney Hammond lost touch with him. When she was 14 years old, an aunt accidentally encountered her birth father while on a trip to Africa. As a result her father then flew to Michigan to be reunited with his daughter, rekindling the father-daughter relationship; the two have been close ever since. McKinney Hammond has never lived in Africa but visits her extended family once or twice a year, and she began using the last names of both her fathers.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Bob Graham (1942-) Biography - Awards to Francis Hendy Biography - Born to SewMichelle McKinney Hammond Biography - West Indian And African Roots, Moved To Chicago, From Advertising Executive To Author, Became Relationship Expert - Selected works