Inkwellness, about healthy lifestyles


To the Editor:

After receiving a call from your staff reporter, Steve Myrick, I feel compelled to submit a written response to his inquires and comments, based on the Letter to the Editor [Not authorized] submitted by Ms. Caroline Hunter and published on October 11, alleging that Inkwellnessmv is profiting from the use of the name Polar Bears. Ms. Hunter’s allegations of an intent to profit through the photographs and videotapes of the Polar Bears’ activities and rituals is completely false and erroneous.

I am a Polar Bear myself, however I have no knowledge of an election of Ms. Hunter as the Polar Bear’s official spokesperson. Moreover, there has been no official polling of the Polar Bears membership to substantiate Ms. Hunter’s views published in her letter. I’m uncertain of Ms. Hunter’s motivation to defame our efforts before it has even started.

Inkwellness is planning its official launch in 2013. We have numerous health and brand awareness events planned, which will incorporate town businesses that focus on health and wellness products and practices on the Island.

I started Inkwellness ( to unveil a unique angle on the long tradition of healthy lifestyles on the Island. My vision was to speak about African-American health disparities from a positive side, as opposed to the typical negative statistics shown in the media. One of my inspirations was my memory of the Polar Bears and many other experiences growing up on the Island during the summers for the past 40-plus years.

In my mind, Inkwellness dates back to when I was a teenager standing on Beach Road hitchhiking to the A&P in Vineyard Haven, observing my relatives and friends’ parents as they engaged in their morning exercise rituals on the beach.

As a child, I played in the town of Oak Bluffs basketball leagues and hope through the Inkwellness movement, we might encourage kids today to step away from the video games and onto the court. As such, I am a staunch supporter of the Vineyard Street Ball Tournament.

I grew up in a culture of hauling fish over the Edgartown bridge, cycling to Gay Head on a banana boat seat and playing kickball in Waban Park, as if we were major league players. Inkwellness encompasses memories of healthy living and wholesome intentions on our glorious Island. The Inkwellness brand was created to bring these memories to life and inspire others to visit our beautiful Island.

Bottom line, there is no evidence of any intent to violate and exploit the good faith and openness of the Polar Bears, as claimed. The Inkwellness brand simply captures and promotes the essence of a longstanding tradition of healthy and spiritually enriching lifestyles and the wellness practices of African-American, health-conscious vacationers. That, we believe, is a wonderful thing.

Leah Brown

Oak Bluffs