Diedre Badejo was born in Harlem and grew up in Corona, Queens. After graduating from high school, she went to Los Angeles where she attended L. A. City College, the University of Southern California, and the University of California at Los Angeles. She also completed a graduate year of study at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, returning in 1990 as a Fulbrighter. She holds degrees in comparative literature and African area studies.
Diedre has always loved writing poetry and short stories, a passion which grew during her undergraduate career. In graduate school, she developed another passion for scholarly research, writing, and storytelling. The intersection of these passions led to her work in West Africa on oral traditions and histories, and ultimately to her book, Osun Seegesi: The Elegant Deity of Wealth, Power, and Femininity (1996). In 2008, she published "The African Union," for the Chelsea House Series on Global Organizations edited by Peggy Kahn. In 2011, she published a chapter titled, "Osun: Yoruba Goddess in Nigeria and the African Diaspora," for Goddesses in World Culture edited by Patricia Monaghan for Praeger.
Diedre has published dozens of book chapters, forewords, introductions, theatre and book reviews, essays, and creative works in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. Her passion for writing finds expression in her passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge with others. She has presented dozens of talks, major keynote addresses and invited lectures with audiences around the globe. Diedre continues to relish the global exchange with diverse audiences in libraries, community centers, multimedia outlets, and college campuses.
Her poetry has appeared in Black American Literature Forum (now African American Review), the National Library of Poetry, The Newport Review, and the Amherst Review. In 1989, two poems appeared in a special anthology of works dedicated to Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela: Amandla. Her research on African Americans in Thoroughbred Horse-racing contributed to an exhibition at the Kentucky Derby Museum and to the scripting of its accompanying documentary film, "A Run for the Roses" for Donna Lawrence Productions. She has worked behind the docudrama scenes as a research editor for television films and programs, and served on several States Humanities Councils as speaker and board member.
Currently, Diedre recently completed a collection of essays, and now is working on a new creative non-fiction project.