Major graduated from San Francisco State University in 1976 after studying African-American Studies and Health Education. She is now a part-time senior adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts.
Major has toured Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and all over the United States performing her poetry and speaking on panels focused on African-American poetry, Beat poetry, and poetry of resistance. She is the author of two novels and four books of poetry. Her fifth book of poetry, and then we became was published (in 2016) by City Lights.
- An Open Weave. Seal Press. 1995. ISBN 9781878067661
- Street Smarts. Curbstone Books. 1996. ISBN 9781880684276
- Browned Glass Windows. Curbstone Books. 2002. ISBN 9781880684870
- Where River Meets Ocean. City Lights Books. 2003. ISBN 9781931404037
- With More Than Tongue. Creative Arts Book Company. 2003. ISBN 9780887395116
- The Other Side of the Postcard. City Lights Publishers. 2005. ISBN 9781931404068
- and then we became. City Lights Publishers. 2016. ISBN 9780872867260