(AP) - A New York Assemblyman is apologizing for wearing blackface and a basketball jersey to his costume party.
Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind (duhv HEYE'-kihnd) says he never meant to hurt or offend anyone.
He faced criticism Monday from black leaders for wearing dark makeup and an orange basketball jersey, sunglasses and an Afro wig at a Jewish celebration that traditionally includes costumes.
Hikind initially defended his costume, calling the reaction "political correctness to the absurd." But at a news conference in front of his Brooklyn home Monday afternoon, he said he would be more careful and sensitive in the future.
Assemblyman Karim Camara of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus said Hikind's costume recalled blackface minstrel shows, which he called deeply painful to African-Americans.