The life story of Paul Anderson -Walsh begins with what to many of our readers will seem to be a heartless and audacious request from his mother. Hoping for a stable marriage to the new man in her life, Anderson- Walsh’s mother went to the orphanage that was caring for her eldest son and sought to swap him for his mixed ‘race’ brother, Paul Anderson- Walsh. The White child for the Black child. That would be the last time Anderson- Walsh would have any contact with his family. Because he was mixed ‘race’ Anderson- Walsh was deemed unsuitable for adoption by social services. Rejected, displaced and marginalised the stage was set for a childhood marked by identity crisis after crisis.
‘I was two different people. I was a Black child or a White child depending on others’ perceptions. But both the Black and the White child were sharing the same body. I was a cut and shut person.’ recalls Anderson- Walsh
But after experiencing racism from both the White and Black community and shifting his racial persona, Anderson- Walsh did eventually come to a place of reconciliation about his mixed heritage. His equally remarkable journey from a Catholic to a Protestant, to the founder of The Grace Project was a seminal catalyst in changing how he saw himself.
‘To be honest’ says Anderson-Walsh ‘it has been a confusing, painful story. But a story that is also therapeutic for others. I use my own story for help and healing. My story is redemptive.’
We are sure you will agree, and readers from all backgrounds and identities will read Anderson- Walsh’s moving story with a mixture of awe and inspiration. GOLDENROOM’s cover story this month, My Story: Paul Anderson- Walsh: