Our Staff

Sylvester A. Jackson

Board member emeritus

As the great grandson of Jack Conrad, Sylvester A. Jackson has been the official family representative of the 1887 Thibodaux Massacre. He is a retired member of the United States Air Force.
In 1962, he was hired to work in the United States Passport Office in Washington, D.C. During this time, he made the passport for the astronaut John Glenn to travel to the moon. In 1978 Mr. Jackson became the first African American to head the passport office in Houston. Mr. Jackson has worked in the military and the private sectors of the construction industry.

Tracey Thibodeaux


Born in NOLA educated at St Augustine and Dillard university BA and MBA degrees. Educator for 25 years with both Orleans and Jefferson Parish schools. Married for 45 plus years with kids and grandchildren.  President of the Oldest African American Mardi gras organization in North America. Love to fish, hunt and travel, favorite stops are Jamaica and the Bahamas.

Wiletta Ferdinand


Wiletta Ferdinand is the author of Jack Conrad and the 1887 Massacre, as well as The Last Walk, a book about historic Jazz Funerals in New Orleans. Ms. Ferdinand is currently working on a new book about the history of African American women in New Orleans, which she began as a thesis project in the Graduate Afro studies program at Howard University. Ms. Ferdinand recently earned a master’s degree in Museum Studies from Southern University in New Orleans. She brings over 3o years of experience as an educator in New Orleans, La.

Linda Brickham


Linda Brickham is a Louisiana educator who has worked in both the public and private sectors of education. She was one of the first African American students to integrate E.D. White Catholic High School in Thibodaux, La. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Nicholls State, and a Graduate degree in Curriculum Development.

Ponya Ferdinand


Ponya Ferdinand is a performing artist based in New York City. She grew up in New Orleans, La.
Ponya received her B.F.A. in Drama from Tisch School of the Arts and attended California Institute of the Arts in the M.F.A. Acting program. She has earned an M.A. degree in Dance Education from NYU. She currently teaches dance at Esperanza Preparatory Academy in East Harlem and serves on the board of bloomdanceinc.org.