In 2016, the family-owned bakery in Oberlin, Ohio was surrounded by racism accusations from Oberlin College students. This occurred after college staff called the police on three black shoplifters who stole wine from the store and also “attacked” a staff member. Despite the fact that the shoplifters Jonathan Aladin, Endia Lawrence, and Cecilia Whettstone were subsequently convicted of theft charges, the bakery never recovered from its damaged reputation and has even been compelled to cut back on employees, reducing the number of workers from twelve to four in recent years as a result of the “racist” incident several years ago.

Students, workers, and the former dean of students at Oberlin College led protests and boycotts of the family-owned bakery, which has been in operation for 137 years. The Gibsons have been under growing strain and pressure as a result of the “woke” members of the college community’s efforts, culminating in an anti-defamation lawsuit that resulted in a court order calling on Oberlin College to pay the bakery $44 million in damages for defamation last year.

The court initially demanded Oberlin pay $33 million, but after some discussion, they agreed to lower the amount. Despite this, Oberlin has refused to pay and have yet to suffer any real consequences for their previous action against the bakery. The Gibson family business is now struggling–two senior members of the family passed away from stress while waiting for Oberlin college to give them the money that was legally promised by the court’s decision.

Allyn Gibson Sr. was a civil rights pioneer who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He died in February 2022 at the age of 93, waiting for Oberlin College to repay his family’s business millions of dollars it owed him. Meanwhile, his son David died from pancreatic cancer in November 2019 at the age of 65.

David chose not to reveal his cancer diagnosis during the defamation trial, for fear that it would impact the jury’s decision. However, he released a statement before passing away, in which he said how Oberlin was stalling in the hopes that all members of David’s family would die and they wouldn’t have to make such a large payment.

The Gibsons have suffered from Oberlin’s protests and boycotts of the bakery, according to their attorney Lee Plakas.

“Business has suffered, and the family is doing everything they possibly can to continue the bakery’s tradition,” the lawyer stated.

With all of the “woke” protests and the pandemic, the bakery has had to scale back its operations.

“They’re just trying to hold on until the justice system forces the college to pay for the damages they caused,” stated Plakas. “The Gibsons are understandably concerned. They are very disappointed that the college, to this date – even with this record and mountain of evidence that they were wrong – is acting this way.”