It’s hard to concentrate on work when the Sun is out, the soil is warmed up and there are seeds for broad beans, Armenian cucumbers, Italian zucchini and four different varieties of nasturtiums to plant. This is the time of year when the garden is to me what the Sirens were to Odysseus. He resisted their temptation by lashing himself to his ship’s mast. I just lashed myself to my computer – and made trips to the garden at 90-minute intervals to see whether any of the seeds had germinated yet.

Luckily, most of our authors and editors weren’t nearly as distracted this past week as I have been. There was a lot of intellectual biodiversity in our story crop, from an analysis of the recent Mexican elections – the most violent ever and a strong rebuke of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s party – to a story about the historic implications of a recent Supreme Court decision that legal scholar Kirsten Carlson of Wayne State University wrote “unanimously affirmed the sovereign power of American Indian tribes.”

My favorite story, though, was brought to us by historian Melissa N. Stuckey at Elizabeth City State University. As a specialist in early 20th-century Black activism, when Stuckey saw the demonstrations in the city sparked by the police killing of Andrew Brown Jr., a local African American man, she realized those protesters were literally marching along the same routes that civil rights protesters had trod in the 1960s.

And there was more history to those routes, she found, going back to the era of slavery: “I know that today’s protesters are not the first to march here. Instead, they follow in the footsteps of previous generations of freedom seekers,” she wrote. “From Road Street to Water Street, from Ehringhaus Street to Elizabeth Street, this picturesque city has long been a site where quintessential African American struggles for freedom have taken place.” Editor Jeff Inglis worked with Stuckey to produce a map that shows how people calling for Black civil rights have traveled the same routes and neighborhoods in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, since at least 1863.

Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

The actions of a Crow Nation police officer were in question at the Supreme Court. Crow Nation

Supreme Court affirms tribal police authority over non-Indians

Kirsten Carlson, Wayne State University

A defendant who is not a Native American claimed tribal police had no power over him, even on tribal land. The Supreme Court disagreed.

Voters line up to cast their ballots at a polling station in Ayahualtempa, Mexico, on June 6, 2021. Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Mexican president suffers setback in country’s deadliest election in decades

Luis Gómez Romero, University of Wollongong

Thirty-six candidates were murdered since campaigning began in Mexico last September, including numerous members of the president's own Morena party.

A march along historic South Road in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, protesting the police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. AP Photo/Steve Helber

Protesters marching in Elizabeth City, N.C., over Andrew Brown’s killing are walking in the footsteps of centuries of fighters for Black rights

Melissa N. Stuckey, Elizabeth City State University

Many Americans first heard of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, when protests began after Andrew Brown Jr. was killed by sheriff's deputies. But the city has a long history of fighting racial injustice.

A map of downtown Elizabeth City, North Carolina labelled with the routes that different marches and processions took.