Margo Jefferson is a critic-at-large for The New York Times, writing a column for the Sunday Book Review and arts reviews for the daily Culture section. She has also been a weekly book reviewer for the paper and the Arts and Leisure theater critic. In 1995 she received a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

She has been a staff book reviewer for Newsweek and a Contributing Editor to Vogue. Her articles have also appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Elle, Allure, The Village Voice Literary Supplement, Grand Street and Harper's. She has won awards from The GE/Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines and The American Library Association her essays.

She has taught literature, popular culture, critical writing and journalism at Columbia, The New School and New York Universities.

Margo Jefferson received her B.A. in English and American Literature cum laude from Brandeis University in 1968, and her M.S. from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1971, where she received a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship.

In 2002 and 2003, she was a Senior Fellow at Columbia University's National Arts Journalism Program. In 2000, as an Artist-in-Residence at Anna Deveare Smith's Institute for The Arts and Civic Dialogue, she created and performed a mixed-media theater piece with Francesca Harper of The Frankfurt Ballet. That piece, "50 Minutes with Harriet and Phillis", was performed at The Cherry Lane Alternative Theater in 2001. Her solo piece, "Sixty Minutes in Negroland", was performed at The Cherry Lane in 2001, and at The Culture Project in 2002.

She has been a consultant and commentator for several television documentaries, including Ric Burns' New York and Ken Burns' Jazz.