Malcolm X drops out of school after 8th grade

In December 1938 Louise Little had a nervous breakdown and was declared legally insane.

The Little siblings were split up and sent to different foster homes. The state formally committed Louise Little to the state mental hospital at Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she remained until Malcolm and his siblings secured her release 26 years later.
Malcolm Little was one of the best students in his junior high school, but he dropped out after a white eighth-grade teacher told him that his aspirations of being a lawyer were "no realistic goal for a nigger." Years later, Malcolm X would laugh about the incident, but at the time it was humiliating. It made him feel that there was no place in the white world for a career-oriented black man, no matter how smart he was. After living with a series of white foster parents, Malcolm moved to Boston in February 1941 to live with his older half-sister, Ella Little Collins.

Malcolm started stealing food and candy from neighborhood stores to support his brothers and sisters. After being caught a few too many times, a local court ruled that Louise was unable to control Malcolm and had him removed from her care and placed in a friendly white couple's home who knew Louise. Two years later, Louise, due to severe stress in raising her children, suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to the state mental hospital where she remained for the remaining 26 years of her life.

After finishing 8th grade, Malcolm dropped out of school and traveled to Boston where his older sister, Ella, lived.

Louise Little did all she could to take care of herself and her six children. Eventually the stress and strain got to her and in 1939 she was declared insane and institutionalized. Her children were placed in various foster homes. That same year, Malcolms teacher asked him what he would like to be. His answer was, a lawyer. The teacher, who had encouraged the white students on their career choices, told Malcolm, thats no realistic goal for a nigger. Malcolm, a good student, quickly became disenchanted. He was placed in a detention home and then dropped out of school, having finished only the eighth grade.