BOOKS: Man finds redemption in ‘The Downlow Saga’

By Marissa Wells, Contributing Writer, Wave Newspapers

Eugene “Downlow” Colston is left feeling defeated, broken hearted and like a total failure following the end of his tumultuous relationship with his former fiancé. Their relationship was riddled with physical abuse and when his former girlfriend finally fought back, Downlow was left with one eye and a court case.

Now all alone, Downlow must seek redemption and purpose in 1989 South Central Los Angeles.

That’s the basis for “The Downlow Saga” by Los Angeles native Sheldon McCormick.

“The importance of my book drew from the negative portrayals of African-American, men past and present,” said the author. “Downlow, in my definition, referred to loser, defeated, defeatism, worthlessness, and that one would never amount to anything.”

The intended audience for “The Downlow Saga” is young adult and adult men and women of all backgrounds. The author hopes readers will find inspiration and see that “success, self-worth and victory are possible despite hardships.”

The author’s favorite character in the book is Downlow because of the heroic actions that he later exhibits. “Downlow was an abuser of his girlfriend which is bad, but his character shows that good can emerge from such a negative person,” McCormick said.

Sheldon McCormick

McCormick, an author of nine other novels, enjoys writing books that tackle everyday issues. His books are set in South Los Angeles or in Compton.

He hopes readers of “The Downlow Saga” learn that redemption is possible.

“You don’t always have to give into a lot of negativity and defeatism,” McCormick said. “My book shows people that you don’t have to be defeated, you can make it and you can find redemption of some type.”

In addition to being an author, McCormick writes a commentary for his Facebook page, @Sheldon McCormick. He writes about various topics including current news, black community concerns, and more.

McCormick began writing as a student at Foshay Junior High School in 1971 and once worked as a reporter for Southland community newspapers. He lives in Los Angeles.

This article originally appeared in Wave Newspapers.



    • The Downlow Saga is about redemption. Defeated black man turned armed security guard turned life-saver. Not gayness.

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