When Malcolm X is in 8th grade, his English teacher, Mr. Ostrowski, asks what career Malcolm is thinking of pursuing. Malcolm is a very bright student who is at the top of his class. Malcolm tells his teacher that he wants to be a lawyer, but Mr. Ostrowski, who has been encouraging up until that point, tells the young Malcolm that the legal profession isn't realistic for a black person. Instead, the teacher urges Malcolm to consider something more realistic. At the same time, Malcolm hears Mr. Ostrowski encouraging the white kids in his class to stretch themselves in terms of their careers—even though they are far less promising academically than he is. At that point, Malcolm goes through an internal change and begins to shy away from white people and to chafe when people make racist remarks.