In 1917, she enrolled in Morgan academy found in Maryland with the help of her former employer. After her graduation, she joined Howard University where she studied for one and a half years and secured a scholarship that saw her transfer to Barnard College for a degree course. Between 1928 and 1932, she studied human culture at Columbia University. In 1936, she got a Guggenheim Fellowship award for travelling and collecting folklore in the British West Indies and Haiti (Boyd 35).
Throughout her life, Zora engaged in a number of jobs alongside her writing. She served as a secretary while working with Fannie Hurst (1889–1968). she later became a writer in paramount and Warner brother’s studios. She also worked as a librarian with the library of congress and finally as a drama tutor at North Carolina Collage for Negroes.
Zora most celebrated work include her novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God” written in 1937, her collection of American folklore that included Tell My Horse (1939) and Mules and Men (1935). Zora worked on three other novels: Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939), a retell of the Mosaic biblical allegory in an African perspective, Seraph on the Suwanee (1948), a story of woman experience in love. and Jonahs Gourd Vine (1934), an autobiography of her father.
Hurston met a number of people who significantly shaped her carrier life, this include notable African American writers such as Langston Hughes, Arna Bontemps and Jessie Fauset, all of whom belonged to the renown New Negro movement that was later change to Harlem Renaissance.
Like many other writers, Hurston has her own critics. One of them is Darwin Turner who suggested that she was a “quick-tempered woman, arrogant toward her peers, obsequious toward her supposed superiors, desperate for recognition and reassurance to assuage her feelings of inferiority” (1979).